Brave Derbyshire snooker club owner says she won't let criminals win after seeing burglar jailed

A snooker club owner faced a burglar in court and spoke of the upset he caused her family - saying later 'I am not going to be scared of him'.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 12:08 pm
Luke Battelle was caught inside Alfreton Snooker Club in the early hours of July 10, Nottingham Crown Court heard. Photo: Google

After seeing the raider jailed for three years, Sharon Shawcroft said: "I am glad I came and glad that he got a sentence deserving of the crime."

Luke Battelle was caught inside Alfreton Snooker Club at around 4.41am on July 10, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Police checks found that he also entered Mario's Fish Bar nearby that night.

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Luke Battelle was caught inside Alfreton Snooker Club in the early hours of July 10, Nottingham Crown Court heard. Photo: Google

Battelle, who had 103 previous crimes on his record, admitted two charges of entering commercial properties with intent to steal.

He will be freed on probation licence after 18 months.

Club owner Mrs Shawcroft told the court that a phone app indicated that someone had entered the High Street premises.

She alerted police officers who detained Battelle, 39, of Stringer Drive, Somercotes.

After the hearing, she said that it had shaken her family, including her 10-year-old son who was woken by the alert.

She added: "We have been running the business for three years and this is the second burglary. People don't realise what a shock it is.

"But we have had 100 per cent support from businesses and people. Everybody has looked out for us.

"We are carrying on with the business. If we stopped, these criminals would have won."

Her daughter Ellie, 18, works at the premises and added: "It makes you worried on dark nights."

Judge John Burgess praised Mrs Shawcroft for reading her victim statement in court to bring home the impact of burglaries.

He said: "Particularly for those who see so much of this, it is so easy to forget."

After hearing Mrs Shawcroft's statement, Battelle told the court: "I would like to apologise. I didn't understand the effect it could have on their family."

Lauren Butts, prosecuting, said that police officers drew their tasers when they found Battelle, who was wearing a black balaclava. He carried a hammer and a screwdriver with a rucksack.

Muddy footprints linked him to the fish shop raid, said Miss Butts. There were "52 offences of theft and kindred matters" on his criminal record, added Miss Butts.

Sarah Munro, mitigating, said that Battelle had a "terrible life" and started smoking cannabis at the age of 12 before taking LSD. By the age of 15, he was on cocaine.

"Since the age of 21, he has been in and out of custody - what a waste of a life," said Miss Munro, who urged the judge to give him a chance to stay out of trouble.