New port Man Jailed For Dental Practice Burglary

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A man from Newport has been jailed after carrying out multiple burglaries in Malpas.

Leighton James Hodge was accused of breaking into and stealing from a Newport school, a fire station and dental practice. Magistrates said that they believe Mr Hodge had deliberately targeted the areas in separate incidents in July.

Mr Hodge is accused of burgling Malpas Junior and Infants School, Malpas Fire Station and T R Lewis Dental Surgery in a chain of attacks earlier this year.

In court, the jury heard that Mr Hodge, 31, of no fixed abode, was already serving a 48-week sentence in connection with theft and burglary charges, which was confirmed at the end of July. It emerged that Hodge committed to the Malpas crimes just days after being released from custody on separate charges.

Ruth Hale, prosecuting at Newport Magistrates’ Court, said that Hodge had entered Malpas Junior and Infants School at 8.45am on the 10th July through a fire door, which was open due to the warm weather. He stole an iPhone and a purse, with a total value of around £500.

Hodge then burgled the dental practice between the 14th and 17th July; he broke in during the night by smashing the window and stole a computer, drugs, a prescription pad and a modem.

In the third attack, Hodge broke into the local fire station and took cash and personal possessions, including a jubilee medal, from a locker; he gained entry through an unsecured window.

On the 18th July, Hodge was arrested by police in connection with another crime but when searching him they found the jubilee medal, which he claimed he had owned for several years, despite the fact that they were only released last year as part of the jubilee celebrations.

Sophie Toms, representing Hodge, said that her client has pleaded guilty at the earliest possible stage and added that he felt he had no choice but to steal after being released from custody and finding himself completely alone with no support from anyone.

Mr Hodge was sentenced to 12 months in jail and ordered to pay compensation worth around £1,500 to the businesses affected by the burglaries.

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