Lock me up for longer says Champagne thief

A RAIDER sentenced to a year in prison for stealing expensive Champagne from Le Metropolitain restaurant in Halifax pleaded with the judge to jail him for longer

Alistair Cooper, 33, from Holly Bank, Rastrick, said: “Twelve months isn’t long enough.

“Give me five years. I do not benefit from a short sentence.

“It doesn’t make sense at all. You could have given me five years.

“At least I could have sorted myself out then.”

But Judge Shaun Spencer QC, at Bradford Crown Court, replied: “The sentence I impose is one that is appropriate. My concern is to punish for the crime that has been committed.”

Cooper had admitted a charge of commercial burglary at the restaurant.

The court heard that at around 2am on New Year’s Day this year, Cooper smashed a first-floor window with a hammer and entered Le Metropolitain in Rawson Street.

CCTV footage caputred him trying to disable the security cameras.

But he missed one, which showed him picking up the restaurant wine list and using it to choose the most expensive Champagne.

In total he stole four bottles of bubbly, including a Dom Perignon worth £185.

Cooper then turned his attention to 40 Romeo y Julieta cigars valued at £600 before taking around £550 in cash and three iPods.

Police arrested him on January 4 and found one of the iPods and gloves that had been used at the time.

Cooper admitted the offence and said he had sold the goods to buy drugs.

During sentencing, Judge Spencer said: “I take the view that it is impossible to avoid imposing a custodial sentence.”

He then handed down the 12-month term – only to be interrupted by Cooper.