Thief with 'appalling' criminal record jailed
A prolific criminal who stole a £5,000 Ford Focus from the car park of a special school has been jailed.
Richard Robert Ward (38) admitted burgling Birkett House, Launceston Road, Wigston, on December 17 last year.
He admitted stealing the vehicle's keys and theft of the car, which was later found burnt out.
Leicester Crown Court was told that Ward, of no fixed address, was recognised from CCTV footage at the school.
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Victoria Rose, prosecuting, said: "When arrested he said he'd been asked to steal the car to order."
She said footage confirmed his version of events, that he broke into the school and initially took the wrong keys.
He then returned and obtained the correct keys before taking the vehicle.
"He said he sold the car for £500 before it was burnt out," said Miss Rose.
Ward asked for 24 other crimes to be considered.
He was jailed for 15 months. The court heard Ward received a 30-month jail sentence earlier this year, for another burglary, which was committed after the Birkett House break-in.
The new 15-month consecutive sentence is due to begin next June, on completion of the earlier sentence.
Miss Rose said Ward had 161 previous offences on his record, apart from many other crimes he has requested to be taken into consideration.
High Court Judge, Mr Justice Flaux said: "You have an appalling criminal record stretching back nearly 25 years for a variety of offences."
Ben Gow, mitigating, said: "He's been on a prison carousel for a long time. He comes out of prison and reoffends.
"He's never had any employment and is unlikely to ever have a job because of his record. He has spent more time on the inside than the outside and is a classic example of a man completely institutionalised."