Plymouth criminal goes on shocking thirty minute spree
A MAN burgled two homes and took two cars within half an hour, a court heard.
Benedict Downes, aged 21, picked up the keys and drove off in a Ford Focus and a Vauxhall Vectra, Plymouth magistrates heard.
But he was over the drink-drive limit and he crashed both vehicles.
Downes admitted nine offences relating to the incident when he was brought before the court in custody the next day.
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Magistrates ruled their power to send him to prison for 12 months was not enough.
He was sent back to jail to appear before a Crown Court judge for sentence.
Downes, of no fixed address, admitted burglary of a home in Palmerston Street, Stoke, on November 13. He took car keys, a radio, a lock and a watch of an unknown value.
He also admitted burglary of a property in nearby Fitzroy Road on the same date, taking car and house keys.
Downes pleaded guilty to two offences of aggravated vehicle taking, relating to the Focus and Vectra. Both the cars and other vehicles were damaged.
He admitted driving with excess alcohol. Downes was found to have 42 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.
Downes also pleaded guilty to two offences of driving without insurance and two of driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
He finally admitted stealing a satellite navigation system worth £150 from a car between October 30 and November 1.
Downes asked for four similar offences, of vehicle interference and theft from vehicles, to be taken into consideration.
Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Downes burgled the Palmerston Street home while the residents were inside just after midnight. She added that he took the car keys and other items.
Mrs Furniss said: "Shortly afterwards a resident heard a bang and saw the vehicle had crashed. He had not gone very far."
She added that only half an hour later the owners of the house in Fitzroy Terrace were disturbed by a noise downstairs.
Mrs Furniss said Downes again used the keys to drive away the cars, but this time he crashed into a wall.
She said police believed Downes had a drug and alcohol problem.
Magistrates remanded him in custody to appear at Plymouth Crown Court for sentence on December 14.