Monday 24 October 2016

Burglar misses sentencing hearing after Prison Service name blunder

Published 28/04/2016 | 18:41

The gang were due to be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court
The gang were due to be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court

The sentencing of a gang of burglars had to be adjourned following a Prison Service bungle.

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Staff at Bullingdon jail in Oxfordshire failed to transport Jesse Gregory to court after spelling his first name "Jessie" on paperwork.

Gregory, 50, had been due to be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court alongside David Royles, 53, and Joseph Butler, 25, for a large-scale burglary conspiracy.

The men targeted safes and caused an estimated £500,000 of damage to properties and stole around £250,000 in cash.

A police investigation covered 120 offences at commercial properties in five force areas -Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, West Mercia, Thames Valley and Devon and Cornwall.

The court heard that, due to the error, Gregory had not been transported to the court.

Judge Tim Mousley QC said he could not sentence the gang with one of the defendants absent and adjourned the case until June 10.

Gregory, of School Hill, Brinkworth, Chippenham, Wiltshire, remains in custody. Royles, of Sandhurst Lane, Gloucester, was remanded into custody while Butler, of The Willows caravan site, Sandhurst, Gloucester, was released on bail.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Bullingdon has apologised to the court after an administrative error led to a prisoner not being produced for sentencing on April 28.

"The prison offered to produce the prisoner later in the day but sentencing was set aside for another date.

"Bullingdon has improved its processes to avoid this happening again."

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