A technician who waited almost two years for a thief who raided his garage workshop to face justice has voiced his anger after the criminal dodged a prison sentence.
Dean McDermott worked at Clacton Car and MOT centre in Clacton-on-Sea when thieves ransacked the business in September 2017.
Tools and equipment, worth in the region of £30,000, were stolen after burglars smashed their way through a window.
Kieron Milligan appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court after admitting burglary and fraud.
He was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, ordered to complete a 50 day rehabilitation activity requirement and to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work.
“They took everything they could sell”
Mr McDermott said: “They took everything they could sell, anything they saw.
“They even raided the fridge.
“How can someone do this amount of financial damage to people and get away with it?
“He has a drugs problem, I get that is difficult, but that isn’t my fault.”
Many of the stolen tools and equipment were purchased by Mr McDermott over the course of 15 years.
He added: “I am paying the price for this, not him.
“It angers me that he is walking free.
“What kind of justice system do we have if you can get away with stealing thousands of pounds worth of hard work?
“It makes me feel like giving up working”
“It makes me feel like giving up working, becoming a crack head and stealing for my living.
“Rehabilitation and unpaid work is no punishment for this.”
The court accepted Milligan had not acted alone in the raid.
The company running the garage at the time of the theft left the business soon after.
Mr McDermott’s brother has since taken on the business.
Mr MDermott said: “If my brother hadn’t come in to take over I would probably be out of work.
“It is a choice in life to get up and go to work, just like it is a choice to take drugs.”
GW reader, Ken Lister said: “And they say crime does not pay.
“30k worth of damage to a small business and in reality the thieving little muppet has got away with it.
“The legal system in this country is a joke.”
Craig Ross commented on GW saying: “Imagine if the same thief broke into a judge, magistrates or social worker’s home and caused the same amount of damage and stole £30,000 of their property.
“I am sure the sentence wouldn’t be so lenient.”
Share your comments below.