"Astonishing" - MPs slam teen killer's burglary sentence and vow to refer it to the attorney general (From Bournemouth Echo)
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MPs slam the burglary sentence of Craig Real after his release from jail for killing Big Issue seller Ralph Millward
THE sentence of a teenage killer who burgled a summer house just weeks after his release from jail has been slammed by Bournemouth’s MPs.
Craig Real was spared a further jail term for his TV-snatching raid in Monkton Crescent, Poole, when Recorder Richard Onslow ruled he should receive a 12 month community order as it was his first burglary.
“Do not regard this as a let off, you should regard it as a chance to change your life,” he said at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Bournemouth East and West MPs Tobias Ellwood and Conor Burns said they would refer the “astonishing” sentence to the attorney general.
“I am astonished, the magistrates had clearly determined a minimum sentence of six months and were looking for something stronger,” said Mr Ellwood.
“This was clearly not his first crime, you don’t somehow move into a different category of crime and have your past misdeeds wiped clean.”
Mr Burns said: “This young man was very lucky that he wasn’t eligible for an adult sentence for the despicable crime he committed in Westbourne.
“The fact that he has emerged from prison and is clearly addicted to a life of crime shows the criminal justice system is not working.”
Prosecuting, Nick Robinson said the victims had felt “violated” as a result of the burglary, which happened overnight between April 16 and 17 this year, just yards from the home of Real's girlfriend.
He said the defendant claimed when arrested that he had visited the house legitimately many years ago leaving fingerprints at the scene, but his victim said they had never met.
Robert Grey, mitigating, pointed out that there was no damage to the property. “He went into the summer house because he was homeless,” he said.
Real was ordered to pay £250 compensation and to attend a Thinking Skills programme.
- Ralph Millward, 41, was kicked and left for dead near his pitch outside Marks & Spencer in Westbourne after he refused to give his tobacco to Real and co-defendants Warren Crago and Jimmy Ayres.
Real, then of Rossmore, Poole, was the oldest of the group at almost 17.
After the savage attack on popular Mr Millward, Real returned to the scene to push a shopping trolley into his body as he lay seriously injured on the ground.
All three admitted manslaughter in 2010, and Real was jailed for four years and nine months.