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Gloucestershire Business News

Snooker club burglar is jailed

A Gloucester snooker club manager and her son were woken by loud banging and ceiling tiles falling in when a burglar raided the premises as they slept, a court heard.

The raider, homeless Ryan Lewis, 37, was jailed for four and a half years at Gloucester crown court after he admitted burglary of the Top Q club in Eastern Avenue.

The offence was the first in a series of burglaries and thefts committed by Lewis in Gloucester and Cheltenham, the court was told.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC heard that Lewis suffers from a 'raft of difficulties' and needs support but he said his hands were tied and there had to be a long jail term.

"The system has failed to sort your problems out but upon release it will ultimately come down to you," the judge told Lewis, whose mother was allowed to sit with him in court.

Prosecuting, Janine Wood said Lewis broke into Top Q on 13th June. The manager Dawn Zimbalatti was using a room upstairs to sleep in before an early shift the following morning.

"Ms Zimbalatti, was awoken by a loud banging. Her son was with her and they ran downstairs, activating the alarm.

"She heard the ceiling tiles come down and believed someone had crashed through the ceiling but she didn't see anyone. She called the police.

"Gareth Lewis was arrested 30 metres from Top Q but later released without charge. Fresh blood was found outside the building and leading out towards the car park. The blood was analysed and DNA proved it to be Mr Lewis's and he was subsequently re-arrested."

On 8th August, while on police bail, Lewis broke into a house in Granley Gardens in Cheltenham, said Mrs Wood. He took jewellery, a camera, binoculars and items of sentimental value including some diamond ear rings which were a 30th anniversary present."

Lewis admitted both burglaries and asked that three other offences - two burglaries and a shoplifting spree - be taking into consideration when sentencing him.

Defending Lloyd Jenkins said his client's chequered history stemmed from childhood abuse which had resulted in post traumatic stress disorder

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