Burglar jailed for raid on Royal Wootton Bassett house
11:46am Monday 21st October 2013 in Latest News
A burglar who took part in a raid on a house in Royal Wootton Bassett where jewellery worth thousands of pounds was taken has been jailed for 34 months.
Fred Newdick was caught on CCTV knocking on the front door of the house on Station Road moments before an accomplice broke in and ransacked the property.
But the 31-year-old insisted he had been exploited by an old school friend who tried to 'fit him up' by using his crow bar and trainers in the raid.
He even claimed he had paid the other man for aftershave stolen during the break in when police later found the bottles of scent in his flat.
But after hearing evidence at Swindon Crown Court a judge rejected his claim that he was pressurised into taking part in the raid in April.
Newdick was on bail for breaking into electrical substations and stealing batteries, which could have led to power cuts, when the house burglary took place.
He said he was being bullied by the other man who came to his Swindon flat and told him to drive him to the house.
After parking up he was told to ring the doorbell, and when no one answered he went back to the car and his pal sprung into action.
Newdick said the passenger went to the boot and took his crowbar and his work trainers, though he was still unaware what was going on.
When he came back a bit later he said he had a bag with items in and told him to drive home, which he did.
Later that day he said the man, who he named, returned to his flat unannounced when his partner was there with their children, who were asleep.
He said he was sold the two bottles of aftershave for £20 each and handed over another £100 when the man threatened the children.
But after hearing him give evidence Recorder Stephen Lennard said he did not believe he played such a minor role in the crime.
Though he accepted Newdick may not have gone into the house, where drawers were turned out on to the floor, he ruled he was not coerced into taking part.
He heard that a few weeks earlier he had been arrested after taking part in stealing from two electricity substations in Swindon.
In both thousands of pounds worth of batteries, which acted as backup should there be a failure in the main grid, were taken.
Newdick, of Whitworth Road, Swindon, pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary.
Mike Pulsford, defending, said his client had a job in the family firm but was preyed upon by his accomplice who bullied him into joining the crime spree.
When he is released from prison he said he could go back to working with his dad at AA Drainaway.
Although they live apart he said he was still together with Zoe Kemble, his partner of 11 years with whom he has two children.
Jailing him the judge said: "You maintain you didn't enter the building, I have concluded I am not satisfied you did. To that the ransacking is not held directly at your door.
"You were involved, you got nothing other than two bottles of aftershave. I reject that you paid for them to your co-burglar."