Teenage burglar jailed

PUBLISHED: 12:24 28 December 2006 | UPDATED: 10:22 24 May 2010

A SWORD-WIELDING burglar who broke into a family home in Weston was put behind bars for 21 months on Monday (Dec 18). David Purkiss scrambled through an upstairs window into his victim's flat where he seized the weapon. The 19-year-old, who is from Weston

A SWORD-WIELDING burglar who broke into a family home in Weston was put behind bars for 21 months on Monday (Dec 18).David Purkiss scrambled through an upstairs window into his victim's flat where he seized the weapon.The 19-year-old, who is from Weston but of no fixed abode, attempted to hack his way out of the address in Alexandra Parade but eventually fled back through the window.He stole antique jewellery, a ring, two phones and the contents of a wallet.However he was arrested by police who found him with some if the items minutes later in Milton Road.Purkiss admitted a single charge of burglary and was detained in a young offenders' institution for 21 months.Julian Howells, prosecuting at Bristol Crown Court, told how Gordon Rodgers, his fiancee Beverley Smith and their two children were at home on July 13 this year when they were disturbed by Purkiss at 2.30am."Mr Rodgers heard the sound of an intruder in the flat. He left the bedroom and saw the defendant running down the stairs."Mr Rodgers heard the defendant trying to get out. He was concerned because in the flat were three ornamental swords and one was missing."He took a sword himself to protect himself. He saw the defendant attacking the external street door with the implement and kicking it to try and get out. The defendant waved the sword at Mr Rodgers and there was a struggle between the two."Mr Howells said the defendant pleaded guilty on the basis that he grabbed the sword to escape and not to cause injury or use it as a threat.Purkiss, who had been drinking and taking drugs, eventually escaped back through their window but was picked up around 10 minutes later by the police.Charles Row, defending Purkiss, who has previous convictions for assault, theft, burglary, battery and breaching an ASBO, said his client had suffered a family tragedy when he was 15 but did not elaborate. He said his offending began around the same time and he turned to amphetamine and alcohol abuse.Jailing Purkiss, Judge David Ticehurst told him he can't always claim to be a victim of his circumstances. "You have had a tragic life but that doesn't excuse the fact that you became addicted to drugs and broke into people's houses and gave them the potential too for a tragic life," he said.

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