Dunstable Man Jailed for 7 Years


A man has been jailed for seven years following a spree of offences in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, including burgling a neighbour.

Darren Mearman, 47, of Watling Gardens, Dunstable, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on Tuesday (28 January) after he pleaded guilty to drug, burglary and road-related offences across the two counties.

In March 2018, officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit (RPU) stopped a silver Mercedes being driven by Mearman in Railway Street, Hertford.

The vehicle smelt heavily of cannabis, and as Mearman was moved into a police vehicle he was seen to discard a small plastic Kinder egg containing 25 wraps of cocaine and 15 wraps of diamorphine onto the ground. He was subsequently arrested and charged.

Following this, Mearman burgled two properties in Dunstable – including one on his own road, just a day apart in February 2019.

In both break-ins, at Watling Gardens and Suncote Avenue, Mearman forced entry causing damage to the properties and made off with a large number of items, including jewellery, watches, cash and a laptop.

Speaking of one of the incidents, His Honour Judge Bright QC said: “This case was a very sad case where the items taken were sentimental items, which belonged to the victim’s deceased husband. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

During the same month, Mearman was also found to have driven while disqualified and without insurance, as well as using a stolen bank card and a store gift card to make purchases.

Detective Constable Jason Wheeler, from Bedfordshire Police’s Operation Maze team which tackles burglary, said: “Mearman has consistently shown a flagrant disregard for the law and by his actions has caused distress to numerous victims.

“We were able to forensically link Mearman to the burglaries via a number of means, including his blood which was left after he broke a doorframe to force entry, and his footwear. We were also able to place his car in the vicinity of the first burglary using automatic number plate recognition.

“Mearman’s case goes to show that crime does not pay and I am pleased that the courts have seen fit to sentence him to a lengthy spell in prison.”

Mearman was sentenced to a total of five years and seven months for possession with intent to supply the drugs and further 15 months for the burglary. He was given sentences for driving while disqualified and with no insurance, failing to stop for police, and fraud by false representation, to be served concurrently.

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