Stevenage thief jailed for four years after mountain bike burglary followed by Hatfield car and Playstation 4 theft

Ben Horton, also known as Ben Piroth, has today been jailed for four years. Photo: Herts police

Ben Horton, also known as Ben Piroth, has today been jailed for four years. Photo: Herts police - Credit: Archant

A thief from Stevenage who broke into a garage to steal a bike and alcohol while already under a suspended sentence has today been jailed for four years.

Cambridge Crown Court, where Horton was sentenced this morning by Judge Gareth Hawkesworth.

Cambridge Crown Court, where Horton was sentenced this morning by Judge Gareth Hawkesworth. - Credit: Archant

Ben Horton, of The Paddocks, was caught on film while stealing the mountain bike and booze together worth £1,100 from a garage in Stevenage’s Blair Close on March 3.

Two days later the 30-year-old – who is also known as Ben Piroth – stole a Nissan X-Trail car, cash, a Playstation 4 and an iPad in Hatfield, also using his victim’s debit card to make a £12.19 payment in Welwyn Garden City.

Passing sentence at Cambridge Crown Court today, Judge Gareth Hawkesworth gave him a 40-month jail term for the Stevenage burglary, adding another eight months for the theft in Hatfield to make a total of four years.

Three-month concurrent sentences were imposed for driving the stolen 4x4 without the owner’s consent and the fraudulent use of the debit card.

Speaking after the sentencing, Det Con Neil Davies said: “Ben Horton is a prolific offender and we are pleased with the sentence passed to him and the fact he will be in prison for some time.

“During one of the offences he committed, two members of the public saw him and an accomplice acting suspiciously. Not only did these people contact police but they filmed the two offenders, which provided us with vital evidence. I would like to thank these people for their support.”

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Horton’s accomplice for the Stevenage crime – the one filmed – was Josh Stapleton, 26, of Twinwoods, who was jailed by Hatfield magistrates for 32 weeks the day after the offence.

Joshua Stapleton, 26, of Twinwoods, was Horton's accomplice in the Stevenage burglary and was jailed

Joshua Stapleton, 26, of Twinwoods, was Horton's accomplice in the Stevenage burglary and was jailed last month. Photo: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Horton pleaded guilty this morning to burglary, theft, driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and failing to attend a police assessment regarding class A drug use.

In addition to his jail sentence, he must pay a victim surcharge of £170.

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