Prolific burglar says toodle-oo to the judge as he gets six years

Henry McGrath

Henry McGrath

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

A THIEF with more than 100 crimes to his name said “toodle-oo” as he was taken down to start a six-year prison sentence.

Henry McGrath – who represented himself in court – had denied burglary despite DNA, a footprint, and a travel ticket with his name on being found at the crime scene.

Oxford Crown Court jurors found the 59-year-old unanimously guilty in less than two hours of deliberation yesterday.

And when asked by Judge Ian Pringle if he had anything to say in mitigation before he was sentenced, McGrath said: “Why don’t you just take me out into the courtyard and execute me by firing squad?”

McGrath, of no fixed address, raided Pyrton Heath House near Watlington in January last year – a month after being released from prison for handling stolen goods.

A Toyota, £6,000-worth of garden tools, and a Land Rover car battery were stolen in the break-in at the country estate.

Police found a trace of blood on a window frame matching McGrath’s DNA and an expert said there was a one in a billion chance it did not come from him.

Another expert said a footprint at the scene was likely to have come from size 11 Hush Puppies shoes seized from McGrath when he was arrested in Sandford-on-Thames days later.

McGrath said the DNA could be from one of his two brothers who he claimed borrowed his car at the time of the burglary.

And in his 25-minute closing speech, he told jurors the prosecution had not proved he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

But McGrath was found guilty of four burglaries, two thefts, and an attempted theft.

Judge Ian Pringle said McGrath had a “staggering” number of convictions for crimes committed from when he was 12 years old.

The court heard McGrath had 39 convictions and 133 crimes recorded against his name – 77 of which were for theft.

Sentencing, Judge Pringle said: “You have spent almost the entirety of your life committing crime.

“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.”

Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS, SPORT and JAYDEN depending on what services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Our top stories

High praise for Oxfordshire's fire and rescue service

Oxford Mail:

12:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

OXFORDSHIRE’S fire service has been praised following an independent peer review.

Three women sentenced for running a brothel in Jericho

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

THREE women who ran an ‘efficient and professional’ brothel in an upmarket Oxford street were sentenced yesterday.

Oxford city centre bank card skimmer is jailed

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

8:06pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

A FRAUDSTER who used a card skimming device at a cash machine to steal money from a woman’s bank account has been jailed.

Britain's 'longest serving' Scout, Reg Hayes, has died aged 99

Oxford Mail: Reg Hayes

1:17pm Wednesday 22nd October 2014

REG Hayes, Britain's longest serving Scout has died.

Woman accused of Abingdon murder expected to stand trial in April

Oxford Mail:

11:04am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

A WOMAN accused of stabbing a man on an Abingdon tow path has appeared in Oxford Crown Court.

Oxford University staff vote to strike

Oxford Mail: Oxford Univesity logo white lettering blue background new logo

9:10am Wednesday 22nd October 2014

Academic staff at Oxford University and Ruskin College have voted for industrial action in a row over changes to pensions.

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:51am Fri 11 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” .......
........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders....
“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” ....... ........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders.... Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 1

10:01am Fri 11 Jul 14

blundelo says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” .......
........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders....
Exactly. While locking him up prevents him offending while he is inside, it doesn't prevent him offending almost immediately upon release. I don't believe for one moment that there isn't a place for custodial sentences, but in this particular case it seems that nothing is being, or can be, done while he is in prison to stop him reoffending on release.
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: “Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” ....... ........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders....[/p][/quote]Exactly. While locking him up prevents him offending while he is inside, it doesn't prevent him offending almost immediately upon release. I don't believe for one moment that there isn't a place for custodial sentences, but in this particular case it seems that nothing is being, or can be, done while he is in prison to stop him reoffending on release. blundelo
  • Score: -3

12:33pm Fri 11 Jul 14

King Joke says...

^ What they said.
^ What they said. King Joke
  • Score: -3

3:27am Sat 12 Jul 14

Lord Palmerstone says...

Dilligaf2010 wrote:
“Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” .......
........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders....
Hey yes, it's not his fault. It never is. It must be ours. Ever occur to you that he doesn't want to be rehabilitated?
[quote][p][bold]Dilligaf2010[/bold] wrote: “Every time you are released, within a short period of time you commit offences and society is simply not prepared to put up with that.” ....... ........what society isn't prepared to put up with, is the fact that not enough is being done to rehabilitate serial offenders....[/p][/quote]Hey yes, it's not his fault. It never is. It must be ours. Ever occur to you that he doesn't want to be rehabilitated? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 6

3:06pm Sat 12 Jul 14

r_bedding says...

Lock him up until he shows true remorse. He is absolute scum.
Lock him up until he shows true remorse. He is absolute scum. r_bedding
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree