A prolific thief who confessed to more than 100 offences has been jailed – but could be free in less than a year and has been praised by a judge for his honesty.
Dale Mowat’s £32,000 crimewave only ended after he knocked at the door of a woman in Stourbridge Road, Lye, and asked her to order him a takeaway meal.
She refused the bizarre request and moments later bravely grabbed hold of the 25-year-old after spotting him breaking in to a neighbour’s car, prosecutor Edward Soulsby told Wolverhampton Crown Court yesterday.
The un-named woman grabbed hold of his legs and refused to let go despite the drug addict threatening to stab her with a syringe.
She clung on to one of his trainers until police arrived and arrested him.
Mowat was on bail at the time having been arrested three days earlier after being caught trying to steal from a hut at the Stourbridge Children’s and Family Centre in Ford Road on June 3.
The serial criminal with 35 previous convictions for 58 offences then decided to take police on a drive round the area, pointing out the scene of the other unsolved crimes he had committed during a two-year blitz of thefts and attempted thefts from vehicles involving a total of £32,581 worth of valuables, the court heard.
Mr Paul Hiatt, defending, explained: “He sold all the property he stole and spent the money on drink and drugs. He wants to wipe the slate clean.
“On his release he intends to move out of the area and become a drugs counsellor.”
Former sous chef Mowat, from Ridge Road, Stourbridge, who lost several fingers in an industrial accident in March 2011, admitted burglary, seven thefts and two attempted thefts from vehicles and asked for 94 other offences to be taken into consideration.
He was jailed for 22 months, but is likely to only serve half that time behind bars.
Recorder Mark Wall QC told him: “You were involved in a course of conduct stretching over two years before threatening to stab the lady who had grabbed you, but police did not know you were responsible for many of the crimes you subsequently admitted.
“They may never have been solved without your honesty.”