LIED to us

PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 November 2010

ASBO Ben Gregory. Healthly Living Centre. Bournville Est, WsM.

ASBO Ben Gregory. Healthly Living Centre. Bournville Est, WsM.

Archant

A NOTORIOUS Weston criminal pulled off his 'most serious offence yet' just days after publicly apologising to victims and vowing to turn his life around.

Habitual offender Ben Gregory this week pleaded guilty to ransacking the offices of a not-for-profit organisation which helps disadvantaged and unemployed people get back into work.

The 20-year-old admitted causing around £15,000 of damage after forcing entry into Somerset Wood Recycling in Oldmixon Crescent on the afternoon of October 17.

It came just two weeks after the Brue Close resident, who has more than 80 convictions, wrote a grovelling three-page remorseful apology to his victims through the Mercury.

In it, he said: “I thought I had the right to do what I want, but now I’m going to try and make a change and hope people can accept my apology.”

But, appearing at Bristol Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Gregory was told to expect another jail sentence of least six months.

District Judge Simon Cooper said: “It is plain to me that when on licence having been released from prison and despite having written letters to the press you have committed the most serious offence of your life.

“You are an individual with no moral compass who shows little regard for victims, and you would not think twice about committing another offence.

“Looking at your long list of offences, it appears you have committed every offence under the sun.”

Gregory, who was dressed in a white tracksuit, showed no emotion to the judge’s comments or the threat of a lengthy prison sentence.

Mitigating on his behalf, Victoria Ellis said: “There are clearly some major issues with this young man.”

The court heard how Gregory had smashed through the entrance to Somerset Wood Recycling before causing havoc inside, smashing windows and throwing contents off shelves.

He targeted two safes, stealing £4,000 of power tools from one, and opened a cash register with just £8 inside.

He then stole keys to a Citroen van and smashed through a set of iron security gates to get away.

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