Nigel Batton – burglar caught by Springwatch Camera jailed 

Nigel Batton – burglar caught by Springwatch Camera jailed 

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Photo from the Evening Standard

Introduction

BBC Show Springwatch is not on my viewing list, even in these days of DVR and on demand. But it seems that I may have been missing a trick. 

As well as catching images and information of hedgehogs, foxes and the like, it seems that they have bigger fish to fry – humans. At least humans of the burglar variety. 

As part of the programme, the Springwatch team put cameras in various locations in London. One of the producers, Simon King, has a live feed of some of the cameras that he has installed running on his website. 

And so it was that one evening this January, they caught Nigel Batton in the act of breaking into a Herne hill house. 

 

Facts

Well, that’s what we’re lacking at this point. It’s perhaps unsurprising that the main focus has been on the image of the unfortunate Mr Batton caught on camera as that’s what makes this newsworthy. 

But we do know that “he was seen looking through the slat blinds of a studio office and trying to open the door before carefully approaching a neighbour’s fence and leaving the garden“.

Leaving aside the fact that this would appear I be more of an a tempted burglary, than a burglary, it seems that he had a trial, though god knows what the defence was (as a guess it would have been that he wasn’t intending to break in to steal anything). Whatever he came up with, it was rejected by the jury and he was sentenced on 15th June 2015 to 4½ years for this burglary, as well as one offence of robbery.

There are sentencing guidelines for Burglary and for Robbery, but without knowing what the facts of the robbery (the more serious offence) this isn’t particularly useful.

We suspect that Mr Batten has previous convictions, but notwithstanding that, this burglary of itself would not merit the sentence given. Maybe more information will come up later today, or in an appeal, or it may be that this is remains an unknown. 

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

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