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A hapless burglar, who caused major travel disruption for thousands of commuters when he tried to hide from police in a tree overhanging a railway line in Charlton, has been jailed for 18 months.
Carlton Andre (05/09/1981), 33, a roofer, of Florence Road, New Cross was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday 26 September to a total of 18 months imprisonment and disqualified from driving for two years after he pleaded guilty to burglary, handling stolen goods, driving whilst disqualified and obstructing an engine or carriage using the railway by an unlawful act.
In the early hours of Wednesday 13 August, Andre drove a stolen motorbike to the Stone Lake Retail Park in Woolwich Road, where he set off an alarm after accessing the retail park to commit a burglary.
Police officers from Greenwich arrived on-site and caught Andre at the scene.
He ran away from officers and, once he noticed police dogs were chasing him, he climbed 30 feet up a tree, which overhung the railway line and caused several hours of disruptions to the line as Andre refused to come down the tree.
Police negotiators were called to Charlton where they were met by a despondent Andre who told them that he was waiting for the Met's helicopter to run out of fuel. He eventually came down from the tree some 17 hours later and was arrested by police.
During his interview with detectives, he explained that he had planned to jump on a passing train in order to get away from the police.
Police recovered an angle grinder back at the scene of the burglary, which Andre had used to break into the retail premises.
Andre was charged the following day and pleaded guilty on 29 August at Woolwich Crown Court to the four offences above. He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment for burglary, two months for handling stolen goods and eight months for obstructing an engine or carriage using the railway by an unlawful act to be served consecutively and sentenced to two months for driving whilst disqualified, to be served concurrently.
Andre was also disqualified from driving for two years.
Officer in the case Detective Constable Carly Walker, from Greenwich CID, said:
“Andre caused an enormous amount of disruption and misery for many passengers when he decided to stay in the tree in the vain hope that police would give up and let him escape. His actions instigated a lengthy operation involving ourselves, British Transport Police, London Fire Brigade and Network Rail.”