Released prisoner raided Washington shopping centre after running short of cash

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A HABITUAL burglar claimed he had no choice but to smash his way into a shopping centre because he could not survive on £10 per day.

Prolific criminal Ross Jenkins had been out of jail just six days when he broke into The Galleries causing more than £5,000 of damage.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Jenkins did not want to commit the offence but had spent the £50 – the equivalent of £10 per day since he had been out – given to him on his release and had no other way of getting money.

Despite being out on licence for another offence, Jenkins, 32, smashed his way into the Washington shopping centre at 1am on Thursday, May 30.

Breaking two glass doors, Jenkins, along with another man, headed towards JD Sports and kicked the window of the store, causing it to smash.

Security guards then made an announcement over the centre’s PA system, warning the pair that police had been called. Jenkins was then arrested. The 32-year-old, who has 43 convictions, pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing.

Jane Waugh, defending, said: “He had only been out of prison for six days. He did not want to commit the offence, but he’d only left the prison with £50 in his pocket.

“Fifty pounds is not a lot of money to get through in six days, and he could find no other way of getting the money. He hopes that next time he gets released, he will be able to get some support.”

However, due to the fact Jenkins, of no fixed abode, was on licence from prison when he broke into the centre, he will not be eligible for release until October next year.

Judge Brian Forster QC sentenced Jenkins to a further 12 months in prison for the break-in.