Junkie burglar with ‘atrocious record of dishonesty’ collared as he tried to escape on stolen bike

Ashley Smith, who was sent to prison after a string of theft offences
Ashley Smith, who was sent to prison after a string of theft offences

A prolific criminal who stole to fund his junkie lifestyle has been jailed after a judge told him he had an ‘atrocious record of dishonesty’.

Ashley Smith, 26, of Ayrshire Close, Aylesbury pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and possessing a knife, while he asked for sixteen other thefts to also be taken into account.

Judge Karen Holt heard how Smith, who has racked up a huge rap sheet of convictions for 83 theft offences, was caught when he and two friends burgled the outhouse of a home in Berryfields, which was used a games room and office.

The trio stole items including flat screen TVs, games consoles and laptops.

But the brothers who lived at the property spotted what was going on and managed to collar Smith as he tried to escape on one of their bikes.

A laptop containing cherished photographs, and one of the brother’s important college work was never recovered, although some of the items were dumped in a field nearby.

When Smith, who had a £50 a day drug habit, was searched by police he was found to have a kitchen knife in his back pocket, but the court heard he did not attempt to use it in the scuffle.

Judge Holt, sitting at Amersham Law Courts, said that she would give Smith credit for pleading guilty at the first possible opportunity, but that he had an ‘atrocious record of dishonesty’.

Sending Smith to prison for two years and six months, and ordering him to pay £100 as a victim surcharge, she said: “He clearly wanted to clear everything up (with regards to the other offences) and has co-operated with police.

“I accept that he has expressed remorse and he was doing it to fund a drug habit.”

She told him: “You have a huge number of almost consistent crimes for matters of dishonesty. Over the course of your offending there has been a number of breaches of orders and a serious conviction for robbery, you quite reasonably accept that a custodial sentence is appropriate.”