A JUDGE has blasted a bumbling burglar for his unashamed arrogance after he told a court he could not have committed the crime at Barclays Bank on Sankey Street because he would have done a more professional job.

Graham Gooding, of Hampton Court Way, Widnes, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for burglary at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, June 18, after he was found guilty by a jury five days earlier.

The court heard how staff at the bank in Warrington town centre arrived in work September 1, 2012, to find a cardboard box over a motion sensor.

The bank was evacuated and, following a police search, it was discovered the only item missing was a CCTV hard drive.

Forensics identified Gooding, who is a skilled electrician, as the suspect through fingerprints and footwear marks left at the scene and he was arrested on September 14.

A study of his phone through cell site analysis also identified the 40-year-old to be in the town centre around the time of the incident, which is understood to have taken place around 10pm.

Sentencing, Judge Ian Trigger said: “It was apparent to me and it must have been apparent to the jury during your trial that you have many skills in your chosen trade but it was also apparent that you have a streak of arrogance.

“You were happy to tell the jury how you did not commit the burglary at Barclays Bank on August 31, 2012, as you would have done a much better and more professional job.”

Judge Trigger also described the incident as a ‘sophisticated attempt to steal’ which must have required ‘a great deal of planning’.

But, defending, Reginald Mills said that despite Gooding’s lengthy list of previous convictions, which includes a bomb hoax in 2002, he is a man who is committed to his family.

Mr Mills added: “He is desperately upset for his family more than himself. He is concerned for them.”

Gooding, who has 17 convictions for 31 offences dating back to 1987, showed no emotion as he was sentenced to 14 months in prison.

Speaking after sentencing, PC Kate Hall said: “This was 21 months of hard work by all concerned. I hope that this will send out a message that this sort of crime most certainly does not pay it will not be tolerated in our town centre.