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Man armed with butter knife burgles Broadmead phone store

A 59-year-old man has been jailed after smashing the window of a shop front in Bristol which he returned to later to try and burgle the store in a crime which is becoming “endemic”, according to police. John Quarrell, from Radstock, was seen by a security guard smashing a window of the Three mobile phone store in Broadmead Shopping Quarter[1] on August 9, 2019. He damaged the window at around 7.40pm leaving it cracked and fragmented and the security man rang the police giving a detailed description of the offender to officers.

From that point on the security officer was tasked with protecting the broken into shop. Later that evening he heard a noise and came down to see the defendant had returned and after making his way through the shattered window had kicked down the door into the back office. The guard told the him he needed to leave and as the defendant tried to flee the guard took pictures of the him.

Quarrell swore at the guard and turned towards him showing the security guard what looked like a knife with a yellow handle.

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It was not long before police officers picked Quarrell up. He had stayed in Broadmead chatting to his homeless friend. Searching him they found a screwdriver with a yellow handle and a butter knife which said he’d found in the shop and was going to use it to remove the phones from their display.

Prosecutor Mr Treharne told the court that officers of the Avon and Somerset Police[2] said a lot of high value stores in Broadmead are getting their windows smashed by perpetrators who later return to try and steal items. His Honour Judge Patrick said unless the police brought evidence before him showing the crime to becoming “prolific” and “endemic” he could not take it into consideration when sentencing the defendant. Defence counsel Mr Woodman said his client had managed to free himself of an addiction to Class A drugs during his last stay in prison and had recently become the sole carer for his brother.

Mr Woodman asked the judge to be as lenient as he could be given his client’s early guilty pleas.

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Quarrell was found guilty of burglary with intent to steal and possession of a blade at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on August 21 2019. The seriousness of the case meant it was sent to crown court for sentencing. His Honour Judge Patrick, said: “You’ve got one of the most extensive criminal records that I’ve seen in a long time.”

The defendant is said to have 146 offences and 50 convictions to his name. The most recent was in January 2017 which resulted in him being sent to prison for two years for intent to supply Class A drugs. Judge Patrick said: “You targeted the store, smashing the window and returning later looking for high value goods.

“I am prepared to accept you picked up the knife a the scene and although you showed it to the security guard you didn’t threaten him with it.”

Quarrell was sentenced to two years and three months in prison and will serve half in custody and remainder on licence.

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For the latest news in and around Bristol, check back on Bristol Live’s homepage[3]

References

  1. ^ Broadmead Shopping Quarter (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
  2. ^ Avon and Somerset Police (www.bristolpost.co.uk)
  3. ^ Bristol Live’s homepage (www.bristolpost.co.uk)

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