Nelson burglar plans to become a Buddhist

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A PROLIFIC crook who has been locked up for three years wants to go into a Buddhist monastery when he comes out, a court was told.

“Lonely” Ash Love (36), who has more than 80 offences on his record, a 15-year heroin addiction and has mental health issues, had been into the retreat before, and thought it might help.

Love had been caught red-handed raiding an unoccupied house in Brierfield. He and an accomplice had taken all the radiators off the walls and were in the process of removing a boiler, Burnley Crown Court heard.

The hearing was told the defendant had a tool bag by his side, and was found with a penknife, lock knife, chisel and crowbar. Love, of Halifax Road, Nelson, currently on the psychiatric wing in custody, had admitted burglary, last April. Sarah Statham (prosecuting), told the court after reports of a noise at 1 a.m., two police officers went to the address, on Commercial Street, and one man got out of the front downstairs window and escaped.

Love was found trying to hide behind the boiler. Police tried to question the defendant, but he was unreceptive, and his behaviour on arrest and in the custody suite at Burnley Police Station was described as “strange”.

Love had committed 82 previous offences and had a long record for burglary.

Mr Richard Taylor, for Love, said he had been recalled to prison for 28 days. The defendant was single, lonely and had mental health issues.

The solicitor continued: “On his release from custody, he gravitates back to this area, where his parents still live, and he gravitates back to his old associates.

“He has an extremely lonely life. He doesn’t make friends very easily and, sadly, has found it easier to cope using drugs. Sadly, that leads on to his offending and appearances before the court.”

Mr Taylor said the defendant felt the Buddhist monastic retreat might help, as he had previously spent time there.

Sentencing, Recorder Susan Grocott told Love his actions had prevented the re-letting of the house. She continued: “Unfortunately, it would appear that despite all the assistance given to you, you choose to return to heroin, because you believe that that makes life easier for you.”