Career burglar sent back to prison for breaking into Doncaster beauty salon

A career burglar has been sent back to prison after town centre CCTV operators caught him leaving a Doncaster beauty salon that he had broken into in the early hours of the morning.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 4:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 10:03 am
Irvine was jailed during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Wednesday, October 2)

Paul Irvine, 41, burgled Fiona’s Beauty Rooms on Doncaster High Street at around 4am on July 19 this year, after forcing a key safe attached to the Georgian Tea Rooms, which is located below.

Sheffield Crown Court was told how Irvine, of no fixed abode, stole a cash float from one of the treatment rooms, which contained £50 in cash, including a Scottish £20 note, and a hand written note from a member of staff.

“Doncaster CCTV (closed-circuit television) operators saw on the camera, who we now know to be this defendant, exiting the Tea Rooms and walking away. They noted he was carrying a rucksack,” said Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting.

She continued: “Officers were then deployed...and he was detained in the town centre a shortly after.

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“His bag was examined and he was found to be carrying a crowbar, a screwdriver and a craft knife. They also found £50 in cash, including a £20 Scottish note.”

Irvine initially refused to comment in police interview, but eventually told officers that he carried out the burglary in order to buy some food.

He pleaded guilty to charges of commercial burglary and possession of a bladed article at an earlier hearing.

Ms Hollis said Irvine has an ‘unenviable’ criminal record of 66 previous offences, 15 of which are for commercial burglaries.

She told the court that he has also previously been convicted of possessing a knife, which means the mandatory minimum sentence of six months applies in his case.

Andrew Swaby said in mitigation: “He was released from custody on July 10. He had no accommodation and no benefits, and was effectively living on the streets.

“It was only a matter of time before he got himself into trouble.”

Mr Swaby said a lot of the crimes committed by Irvine have been motivated by a desperation to feed a Class A drug habit, adding that he is now making progress to overcome his drug problems, which is being assisted by a prescription for methadone.

Recorder Amy Mannion sentenced Irvine to six months in prison, and told him he was likely to be released soon – due to the time he has spent on remand.

“Please don’t find yourself coming straight back into the door of the prison. Use this opportunity I have given you,” she said.

Recorder Mannion also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the craft knife, screwdriver and crow bar found in Irvine’s bag.

- South Yorkshire Police has been asked to provide a custody image