A BURGLAR who targeted homes across the city failed in his attempt to take a black cab belonging to an Assembly Member after “stupidly” leaving the key inside the AM’s home.
Byron Davies, AM for South West Wales, had gone away for Christmas when his Penclawdd home was targeted by Patrick O’Brien.
Although O’Brien got away with prized medals marking his long service with the police and RAF reservists, his attempt to take Mr Davies’s distinctive black cab failed.
He had taken the car key from inside the house but not the mobiliser key. In a statement Mr Davies said O’Brien had “stupidly” left that inside. When the cab wouldn’t start, O’Brien abandoned his attempt but left the window open, causing serious water damage.
In a powerful statement read to Swansea Crown Court by prosecutor Carina Hughes, Mr Davies detailed the effect the burglary has had.
“Having worked in the Met police for 32 years, I have seen the impact burglary has on people’s lives but never truly understood it until being a victim myself,” he said.
“These defendants need to realise the personal heartache their actions have,” he had written.
As part of his spree, O’Brien also targeted the Dunvant home of two pensioners, who were called back from their Christmas holiday by police who discovered the burglary.
He also stole from the bedroom of a student and stole a set of car keys and car and a camera from another family home.
O’Brien is now starting a six-year jail term after admitting four burglaries, handling stolen goods, aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.
He was caught after speeding away from police in the stolen car.
During his botched getaway, he drove that car into a ditch, trapping his passenger, Danielle Grey, aged 25, from Morfydd Street, inside.
She had to be cut out by fire crews, but appeared with him in the dock after admitting handling stolen goods and being carried in a stolen car.
She received a community order.
O’Brien, aged 32, from Heather Crescent in Sketty, ran off, but thanks to a police helicopter and dog handlers, he was tracked down and arrested.
Judge Paul Thomas told him: “You are a 32-year-old persistent burglar.
“It’s clear to me, you will only be stopped from burgling homes by being in prison,” he added.