Potters Bar burglar avoids jail for third time

A PROLIFIC burglar from Potters Bar, who stole high-value goods and sports cars from more than 100 homes, has avoided jail for the third time.

Drug abuser Mark Hall, 33, who stole a Ferrari, a BMW and expensive household items, was sentenced to two months community service on Wednesday, despite having breached the terms of a probation order three times.

Hall had been sentenced to a three-year community order after being convicted of five burglaries and eight thefts in January last year, and asked for a further 139 similar offences to be taken into consideration.

At St Albans Crown Court this week, Harry Snook, prosecuting, said: “The majority were dwelling burglaries during the course of which items were taken from the houses.

“More significantly, keys for motor vehicles were stolen and high-value cars driven off the drives, including a BMW X5 and a Ferrari.”


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It is believed the offences took place in the Potters Bar area.

Mr Snook said that since September 2009, Hall had already twice broken the terms of his order imposed on him through the C2 Project – a Hertfordshire-wide pilot scheme which can see offenders sentenced to jail if they don’t comply with the conditions of the order.

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Hall’s latest breach saw him fail to return on time from a visit to see his daughter in Newcastle.

“Having gone to Newcastle he stayed for another day and therefore had not returned as required to do so,” Mr Snook said.

“He failed to attend his unpaid work that same day and that attitude is not acceptable.”

Charles Judge, defending, said Hall had made the “wrong choice” by staying in the north east, but that he was concerned about his young daughter’s “welfare”.

Mr Judge asked his client to be included in the Thinking Skills Programme to help him make the right “choices”, rather than send him to prison.

Judge Martin Griffith ordered Hall, of Beechwood Avenue, to attend 26 group work sessions over 13 weeks.

“Do not forget you are a person at this moment in time standing on a tightrope,” Judge Griffith said.

“If you fall off that it is a long way down. There comes a time even my patience runs out.”

No costs were ordered as Hall is paying fines imposed in the magistrates’ court and due to lack of means.

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