40 months in jail for £25,000 Great Harwood jewel thief

Blackburn Citizen: Mark Corbett Mark Corbett

A HOODED burglar who targeted a gift shop twice, but left his haul of jewellery worth £25,000 in a nearby alley, has been jailed for 40 months.

Prolific crook Mark Corbett, 26, had also raided a flat above the shop in Queen Street, Great Harwood, and had thrown a vase at John Woodhead when the victim was awoken in the early hours.

Mr Woodhead found a blood stained jumper in his property, handed it to police but when the defendant was arrested, he claimed he couldn’t account for how his blood came to be in the flat, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told Corbett, a father-of-three, had stolen a vanity case containing the jewellery from B and L Gifts, but the gems were found in a nearby passageway. The treasured collection, which had been built up over many years, belonged to owner Leroy Porter’s mother. Barbara, who had taken it to the shop to be cleaned. It was later recovered thanks to a passer-by and Mrs Porter was so thankful she planned to give the teenage girl who found it a reward. Corbett, who has a record going back 14 years, had been using cannabis when he struck.

The defendant, of Frederick Street, Oswaldtwistle, admitted two burglaries and one attempted burglary, in May. David Bentley, prosecuting, said at 10.20pm on May 18, two passers-by in Queen Street, heard the sound of breaking glass at the shop. They could see a hooded figure crouching behind the counter and called the police.

A man was later seen running down the street wearing a grey hooded top. The jewellery was found in the alley. Mr Bentley said on May 20, police attended B and L at 2.45am, after reports of loud banging.

They found a mobile phone which had calls and texts linking it to Corbett, in the porch behind the gate. A window had been broken. He was arrested at 2.52am, dressed in a hooded top and with a large cut to his hand.

Tim Storrie, for Corbett, said his father was a heroin addict and a criminal and was used to being in jail. The defendant's simple ambition was to be there for his children, to see them grow up and provide for them.

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