Burglar who stole from church volunteer fails to reduce jail sentence


A prolific criminal who stole from a church volunteer in Sussex has been told by top judges his ‘severe’ jail term was well-deserved.

John Frank Green, 32, of no fixed abode, was jailed for two years and six months at Lewes Crown Court on August 10.

He admitted burglary, handling stolen goods and two counts of theft.

Items from a break-in in Oathall Road, Haywards Heath, on January 8 were found in the flat where Green was staying, in Burchetts Close, Haywards Heath, two days later.

There was also a receipt for Cash Convertors where he had sold a tablet and camcorder which had been stolen in the raid, Lady Justice Sharp told London’s Appeal Court.

On January 26, Green stole a handbag from an elderly lady who was doing voluntary work at Holy Trinity Church, in Cuckfield.

The contents of the handbag included cash, keys, her glasses and mobile phone and ‘irreplaceable personal items of sentimental value’.

The same month, Green stole an holdall bag from a Peugeot, in Staplefield, and burgled a house in the same village, stealing car keys and driving away in an Audi.

He had 34 previous convictions for 79 offences, the court heard.

His lawyers argued he was a ‘first-time burglar’ and his jail term was far too tough.

But Lady Justice Sharp said: “In our view the overall sentence was indeed a severe one but it was not one that was manifestly excessive for this serial offending.”

“This appeal against sentence is accordingly dismissed,” added the judge, who was sitting with Mr Justice Warby and Judge Jeremy Carey.