Bungling Chesterfield duo - “not very good at burglary” – jailed for ten years

A judge told two bungling Chesterfield criminals they were “not very good at burglary” as he jailed them for 10 years following a one-night “spree” of attempted raids in the town.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 2:13 pm

James Nash, 37, was locked up for six years and his partner in crime Richard Cullen, 36, was sent down for four years and six months.

Derby Crown Court heard the drug-addled pair tried unsuccessfully to burgle five homes on January 14 last year, mostly on Newbold's Eyre Chapel Rise.

Though neither defendant gained entry to any houses one victim described hearing banging outside, opening the door to her home at nearly 1am and seeing “a male standing there in a balaclava”.

James Nash, left, was locked up for six years and his partner in crime Richard Cullen was sent down for four years and six months

Another victim was asleep in bed before being awoken at 12.45am by her young son and seeing one of the defendants trying to break into her garage on her security camera.

In victim impact statements the householders described being left “anxious in their own homes” - while one said the experience had reawakened historic panic attacks.

The hamfisted duo were able to gain entry to a Range Rover - however items taken included sunglasses, wellies, a DVD player and some electrical cables.

Richard Childs, prosecuting, said other goods stolen included some bottles of alcohol, more wellies, a security camera, a handbag and three pairs of shoes.

Nash and Cullen were both caught on camera and later traced to an address where some of the items were recovered.

However Mr Childs described how during another more serious burglary on July 19 last year Nash made off with a backpack from Chesterfield vaping store Only The Vape.

At around 5pm a worker at the shop heard a sound coming from the back door and was confronted by Nash, who had a brick in his hand and was shouting “where are my keys?”.

When Nash realised there was no car at the premises he demanded cash.

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However the quick-thinking worker used the shutter key to bring down the shop shutters - at which point Nash fled, picking up the worker’s backpack and hurling the brick at him.

The court heard Nash had 44 convictions for 77 offences - including violence, antisocial behaviour, drugs, breaches of court orders and 17 dishonesty offences.

While Cullen had 25 convictions for 57 offences, including violence, antisocial behaviour, weapons, breaches of court orders and 39 dishonesty offences.

Will Bennett, defending Nash, said his client had been a “casualty” of the late-1990s party scene and his “appalling” record was a product of an amphetamine addiction.

However he added his client was a “very different creature” when “stabilised”.

James Beck, defending Cullen, said the pair were “not professional in any sense of the word” - noting that a pair of wellies stolen from one address was left at another.

He said Cullen, under the influence of drugs on January 14, had “no idea” what he had been doing on the night of the offences.

Recorder Jason MacAdam told them: “These crimes have left those affected feeling scared and vulnerable in their own homes.

“Anyone who has been burgled will know exactly how these people feel - they’re scared and anxious in their own homes.

“I accept that you are not very good at burglary - you were seen on camera and what was taken was hardly of high value.”

Nash, of no fixed abode, admitted burglary, attempted burglary, theft and theft from a motor vehicle. He was jailed for six years.

Cullen, of no fixed abode, admitted attempted burglary, theft and theft from a motor vehicle. He was jailed for four years and six months.

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