Jail for burglar who targeted Blackpool hotels

Hotel burglar James Reece Morrison
Hotel burglar James Reece Morrison

A burglar who targeted hotels in Blackpool has been jailed for 30 months.

James Reece Morrison, 20, of Palatine Road, Blackpool, admitted stealing a guest’s Audi A5 after taking car keys from the Stuart Hotel on Clifton Drive on August 30.

He admitted driving while disqualified and uninsured, and making off without payment.

In a further case, Morrison admitted burgling the Kensington Hotel on South Promenade on the same day.

The court heard a hotel guest at the Stuart Hotel, which is run by David Wood, had been told he could park his Audi on the hotel owner’s driveway around 50m away as there was no room at the hotel, and he left his key at the reception.

Lisa Worsley, prosecuting, added: “At some time between 12.30am and 6am on August 30, the Stuart Hotel was broken into by the forcing of patio doors.

“Mr Wood discovered the break-in at 6am when he arrived at the hotel. There was a large amount of spirits, champagne and beer stolen.

“He didn’t notice the Audi key had gone missing at that stage but was subsequently informed. The victim asked if he had moved his car.”

Police spotted the stolen car driving south towards St Annes on Clifton Drive North at 9.45pm, and four fled the car when it was blocked. During his interview, Morrison suggested on the evening he had ‘been at his grandma’s watching TV with his mother’.

Mr Wood said a patio was damaged beyond repair, that the theft of the laptop led to double bookings, and the hotel paid £500 compensation to the car owner.

Judge Sara Dodd said: “During the course of one burglary you were disturbed by the owner of the premises. There was a degree of planning. This was an organised spate while you were on licence, which is an aggravating feature. You are the most prolific offender I have seen for very many years.”

Tom Lord, defending, said: “Regrettably this defendant has finally acknowledged that perhaps there is a cycle where he goes into prison, comes out, and notwithstanding the best efforts of his family, friends and girlfriend, his immaturity and poor consequential decision making means he reoffends.”