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Man jailed for perverting the course of justice

Stephen Waters
Stephen Waters

A man has been jailed for eight months after admitting criminal damage and perverting the course of justice in relation to a suspected attempted burglary in Weston-super-Mare.

Stephen Waters, 62, of Edinburgh Place, Weston-super-Mare, appeared at Bristol Crown Court on Friday 10 December.

The court had previously accepted his guilty plea to criminal damage instead of an initial charge of attempted burglary.

Officers were called to Spring Hill, Weston-super-Mare, at about 3pm on 17 July 2020 by a witness reporting a suspected break-in. The door of a house was damaged and the window smashed, but the householder reported that nothing had been stolen.

During the course of their enquiries officers interviewed a man who had claimed to be responsible for the attempted burglary. Further investigation established that this man had done so at the request of Waters.

Matthew Ashenden, 37, of Loxleigh Gardens, Bridgwater, has admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and is due to be sentenced on Thursday 23 December.

Sentencing, the recorder Mr Neil Millard said Waters had applied pressure to a vulnerable individual to accept responsibility for the crime he had himself committed.

DS Jonathan Atkin, part of our team of officers focused on tackling burglary, said: “I’d like to thank the witnesses who called 999 to report their suspicions on hearing breaking glass and seeing suspicious activity at the address.

“The dedication and tenacity of the officer in the case, PC Aaron Collins, throughout this investigation had led to the identification of further significant offences and the positive sentence handed down by the court today.”