Notorious Cambridge college burglar jailed

Tristram Fane-Saunders, Deputy News Editor 1 September 2012

Judge: “Return to Cambridge at your peril”

Notorious burglar Graham Woollett has been jailed for three and a half years for stealing from Cambridge student accommodation. Woollett was caught and arrested after a plain-clothed policeman spotted him riding a stolen bicycle near Robinson College on August 19th.

He was charged with the theft of an iPhone 4 and cash from Newnham College, and of a mobile phone and laptop from Clare College. Both these incidents occurred on August 16th, just days after Woollett was released from prison on August 10th.

In court, Woollett confessed to further break-ins at St Edmund’s on August 17th and St Catharine’s on August 18th as well as the theft on August 19th of the bicycle on which he was caught. Woollett himself asked the court to take these offences into consideration on sentence.

Woollett is no stranger to the Cambridge constabulary. Sergeant Jamie Stenton described Woollett as a “prolific offender” who “ignored his ASBO in order to break into student accommodation”. Woollett has been repeatedly targeting Cambridge University buildings since 2004, and in August 2011 he was given a 10 year ASBO – the longest in the city’s history – which banned him from Cambridge city centre.

In the last 13 years Woollett has spent just 8 months out of jail, and in 2010 he abscondedfrom Hollesley Prison while serving a 4-year sentence for burglary.

During Woollett’s trial last week, Judge Jonathan Haworth warned Woollett never to return to the city, telling him: “Come to Cambridge at your peril”.

Judge Haworth also told Woollett: “These are not minor burglaries. You are targeting college bedrooms because people are allowed to walk into colleges.

“You walk up the staircase and find a room that is not locked and you simply steal electrical goods that are there.”

Tristram Fane-Saunders, Deputy News Editor