Masked burglar is jailed after police catch him raiding a chemist shop

Pictured is  Barry Bennett, 41, of Openacre, Ironville, who was caught raiding Hurst pharmacy, on High Street, at Ripley, and has been jailed for burglary and a theft offence.
Pictured is Barry Bennett, 41, of Openacre, Ironville, who was caught raiding Hurst pharmacy, on High Street, at Ripley, and has been jailed for burglary and a theft offence.

A masked burglar who smashed his way into a chemist’s and was caught red-handed by police has been put behind bars.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, July 18, how Barry Bennett, 41, of Openacre, Ironville, was caught raiding Hurst pharmacy, on High Street, at Ripley, after he was spotted by plain-clothed police officers.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “This was an overnight burglary. Two plain-clothed police officers were on-duty at 3am and saw two males and a female.

“The males had covering on their faces and they walked to the chemist’s and kicked the glass at the pharmacy and they were successful in gaining entry and they were filling bed sheets with items of stock from the shelves.

“Fortunately, the two males were taken hold of and the female was interviewed and one male escaped and Mr Bennett was still present.”

Bennett told police it had not been a planned burglary and it had been a spur of the moment offence after he had gone for a walk with a friend.

The defendant, who has previous convictions for dishonesty, pleaded guilty to the burglary which happened on July 2.

Defence solicitor Robert Wetton said Bennett is a heroin addict who wishes to address his drug problems.

Mr Wetton added: “He said he went in and kicked some of the glass out and all of a sudden people jumped on him and he was arrested.

“It was not planned or sophisticated. It was a pathetic burglary that happened in front of police officers across the road.”

Bennett also admitted stealing a bag of goods belonging to a shopper at B&M Bargains, on Central Road, in Alfreton, on June 16.

Mrs Allsop said Bennett had picked up a shopper’s bag which had an X-box headset inside it after it had been put down by the complainant and CCTV showed the defendant taking the bag.

Magistrates sentenced Bennett to 18 weeks of custody and ordered him to pay £240 compensation.