'Bizarre' Cheltenham burglar Philip Collins is jailed for 40 weeks
BURGLAR Philip Collins continued trying to break into Cheltenham homes even after a woman raised the alarm and police were on his trail.
The 33-year-old's behaviour on the night of July 17 this year was described as "bizarre" by Judge Jamie Tabor QC at Gloucester Crown Court.
He jailed Collins, of Barbridge Road, Cheltenham, for 40 weeks after he admitted three offences of attempted burglary at addresses in Granley Road and Swanswell Drive, Cheltenham.
Prosecutor Lisa Hennessy said a woman sleeping in a semi detached bungalow in Granley Road woke to see Collins outside her conservatory. He shouted to her that he "needed help" as he had cut his head but she could not see any injury.
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He then moved away from the door and she called the police and gave a description of him.
PC Tim Meadows and his dog were quickly on the scene and they found a black baseball cap. The dog followed the scent and PC Meadows spotted Collins crouching by a house back door.
He had a long metal pole in his hand. The officer sent the dog into the garden, ordering Collins to stay still but he leapt up and scaled a six foot fence.
Collins was seen again shortly afterwards at another house and was eventually arrested. Mrs Hennessy said Collins has numerous previous convictions and was jailed for four years in 1997 for burglary and in 2004 he received a five and a half year sentence in Oxfordshire, also for burglary.
Nick Fridd, defending, said Collins admitted the offences on the basis he was very drunk that night.
But Judge Tabor pointed out that Collins had scaled walls "with alacrity" and kept one step ahead of the police – something that would be difficult to do when drunk.
"Whatever way you look at it, it was very bizarre behaviour," he said. "He knew it was likely the police had been called yet he continued committing further attempted burglaries."
Jailing Collins the judge described him as a "seasoned, well practiced burglar".
There had to be a prison term to help deter offenders at a time when Cheltenham was suffering too many burglaries, he said.