A drunken burglar who stole a £17,000 Mini was caught by police – after he fell asleep in the car on the hard shoulder of the M25.
A Mini Convertible
Hapless Jonathan Martin, 31, sneaked into a house through an open back door after crashing his work van and then stole the keys to a convertible Mini.
The trainee plumber, who had been drinking heavily, then drove the vehicle along the M25 before parking up on the hard shoulder and going to sleep.
St Albans Crown Court heard he was woken by police officers before pleading guilty to burglary, being drunk in charge of a vehicle and theft of vehicle.
Martin, of Welwyn Garden City, Herts., was handed a ten-month suspended by sentence Recorder Peter Crabtree and ordered to carry out 100 hours’ unpaid work.
He said: ”This took place overnight while occupied and is an extremely serious offence in my view.
”I accept that it was impulsive and having regard to all the circumstances, custody can only be justified, but I am prepared to suspend it.”
Recorder Crabtree also ordered Martin to carry out alcohol treatment under supervision of probation and imposed a 12-month driving ban.
The court heard Martin had several previous convictions for driving offences and a caution for a non-dwelling burglary.
As well as stealing the keys to the Mini he also stole keys to an Audi and a black leather purse containing cash and credit cards, during the burglary on September 10.
Brian Richardson, defending, said Martin spiralled into crime following the violent deaths of his uncle and aunt in Belfast and the suicide of his brother in 2008.
He said: ”He has made numerous efforts to move on. He is a bright and talented man and received a number of GCSEs at school, and lives with his mother and father.
”He has made efforts to secure employment as a plumber and is on an apprenticeship with the British Trade Skills Centre.
”The report says he is a low to medium risk of re-offending.”