Cat burglar sees jail sentence reduced
A WESTON cat burglar, who specialised in shinnying up drainpipes to raid sleeping householders, has had his jail sentence cut on appeal.
Calam Atour, of Brighton Road, was initially jailed for seven years by a judge at Bristol Crown Court in September last year.
The 38-year-old drug addict had pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary, targeting homes in the Bristol area.
The court heard how Atour would use drainpipes to climb to open upstairs windows, and then sneak into people’s bedrooms as they slept.
On one occasion, the occupant woke, and brazen Atour simply said he had ‘got the wrong house’ and left.
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Another time when the householder woke, he was forced to flee empty handed.
However, when he was able to remain undetected, he would help himself to wallets and valuables from four different victims.
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He was even known to burgle two different homes in the same night – all to feed his expensive drug habit.
Judges sitting at London’s Criminal Appeal Court have now ordered Atour’s sentence be reduced to five-and-a-half years after ruling the original term was unduly harsh.
Lord Justice Richards, Mr Justice Mackay and Mr Justice Wilkie amended the jail term despite hearing how Atour had an ‘extremely bad’ criminal record even prior to these offences.
That record included 116 separate convictions, including 18 for burgling people’s homes.
Lord Justice Richards said “The offences were committed as a result of his relapse into drug addiction.
“He entered people’s houses at night whilst they were present, which was terrifying for the victims.”
However the judge went on to allow the appeal after finding that it had been wrong of the Crown Court judge to take a starting point of 10-and-a-half years before applying a discount for his guilty plea.
“This was a bad series of burglaries committed by a prolific burglar,” the judge said, but ruled in the end that the sentence had been too long, cutting it by a year and a half.