Burglar found inside railway station coffee shop

PUBLISHED: 10:07 20 December 2010

A new gavel

A new gavel

Archant

A BURGLAR was caught red handed after the shutters of the LA Golden Bean coffee shop on Ely railway station were forced.

Police arrived on the scene to find Justin Barnes inside the trackside store, with a torch in his hand.

He immediately showed officers where a pair of secateurs used for the break in had been hidden in a nearby plant pot.

“On December 5, just before 11.20pm, police were alerted, two men had been sent outside the LA Coffee Bean,” prosecutor Angela Sassoli told Ely magistrates.

“A station supervisor saw them with a crowbar; the shop was closed and the metal shutters were down, the premises had been left secure.”

The two men appeared to have swapped jackets, she said. Barnes was wearing a fawn coloured fleece, and his accomplice wore a red and black walking jacket.

“The supervisor heard a distinct popping noise, he believed he was the metal clasp of the shutter being forced,” said Mrs Sassoli. “The clasp was found at the scene.

“There is CCTV footage of two men facing the shutter. When police arrived, Barnes was inside the coffee shop with a torch in his hand.

Barnes said he had intended to steal money, believing there was cash in tins on the counter. Damage to the shutter would cost around £200 to repair.

Barnes, 40, of John Anmer Close, Ely, admitted a charge of burglary, and sentencing was adjourned until January 13.

Mitigating, Michael Judkins said Barnes had suffered “a life changing event” in September 2009, when a road accident left him with head and brain injuries; he had been hospitalised until June 2010.

Mr Judkins said Barnes’ accomplice had forced a gap in the shutters, and Barnes was instructed to go inside.

“He was not a willing participant in what happened,” he added. “He was told there was a pot of money in the kiosk; he could not see the pot, and then the police arrived and he was arrested. It was something he should not have got involved in.”

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