Burglar Lee Dommett jailed following break-in at Cirencester wine bar
8:30am Wednesday 20th March 2013 in News
AN HABITUAL burglar who broke into a Cirencester bar and stole £1,000 has been jailed.
Lee Dommett, of Upavon Court, Swindon, claimed he had only committed his latest offences at 17 Black on December 7 because he thought it would be his last Christmas alive and he wanted to give presents to his family.
The 29-year-old also admitted attempted burglary of the same place a month later when he was recognised and challenged by manager Daniel Lafford.
Julian Kesner, prosecuting, said Dommett's original raid had been captured on CCTV but police officers were unable to recognise him.
Mr Kesner said Dommett was a 'specialist' burglar of commercial premises and had committed 128 such offences in the past.
When he returned to 17 Black on January 8, Mr Lafford was monitoring the club's surveillance system and he recognised Dommett trying an office door.
"When someone like you with a record of dishonesty tells me something like this I have to treat it with a degree of scepticism."Judge William Hart pours doubt on Dommett's claim that he has terminal cancer
When Mr Lafford confronted the defendant, Dommett threatened him but then pleaded with the manager to let him off and handed over his phone as security before leaving the bar.
When police arrived they were given the phone which revealed the burglar's identity.
Kevin Marland, defending, told the court that his client's crimes stemmed from cannabis and cocaine addiction.
He added that his client had started to feel unwell in October last year and was diagnosed with lung cancer.
"He decided that last Christmas would probably be his last and he committed these offences to get money to buy presents for his family," Mr Marland added. "It sounds a very sad story but it is a true story."
He asked the judge to avoid jailing Dommett but without medical evidence to back up Dommett's claim, Judge William Hart passed an immediate sentence of 14 months.
Jailing Dommett, Judge Hart said there was no evidence of his health claims and that the probation service had said it was 'unverified.'
"When someone like you with a record of dishonesty tells me something like this I have to treat it with a degree of scepticism," he added.