Prolific burglar’s sentence cut

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A career criminal jailed after admitting about 200 thefts and burglaries has had his sentence slashed after top judges learned of the help he gave to police.

Barrie James Brian Massey, 31, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years at Ipswich Crown Court in October after pleading guilty to three thefts and a burglary.

But Massie admitted another 198 offences, mostly thefts from cars to fund his long-term heroin addiction. At the Court of Appeal on Friday, three senior judges said his co-operation with police to effectively wipe his slate clean should have resulted in a greater reduction in the sentence.

Judge Peter Rook QC, sitting with Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Blake, said his help justified the sentence being slashed to three-and-a-half years.

“Here there are exceptional circumstances, illustrated by the appellant’s candour over his past offending,” the appeal judge told the court.

Massey was being interviewed about a burglary at a house in Bury St Edmunds, when he agreed to talk about his long list of past crimes.

The judge said he had been ‘highly co-operative’, pointing out 198 crimes over seven years up to 2006.

The majority were thefts from cars with the estimated total value of property taken at around £89,000, with damage costing about £15,000.t

Challenging the sentence, his lawyers argued that he had not been given enough credit for admitting the house burglary and the ‘huge’ number of earlier crimes.

The sentence was cut to three-and-a-half years.