A FALMOUTH man broke into a post office and tried to steal a safe containing more than £20,000 so that he could stop his son from being adopted.
At Truro Crown Court on Thursday, Dene Tregidgo, 22, of Esperanza Court, was jailed for the burglary, which took place in the early hours of February 18.
Sally Daulton, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Tregido and two others, who have not been identified, forced open the back doors of the Boslowick Post Office, disabled alarms and cameras and tried to remove the extremely heavy safe.
A neighbour called police after hearing the sound of metal clanging and officers arrived to see the defendant kicking a large grey safe, which was outside the premises.
Ms Daulton said: “All three of them ran off. When the officer shouted that he had a Taser, the defendant stopped and put his hands on his head.”
She said the rear door had been forced open with a lever and the safe had been dragged out of the post office leaving drag marks.
“A large metal breaking pole and a metal wheelbarrow were found nearby,” she added.
In interview Tregidgo told officers he had been the look-out while the other two men forced the initial entry but was involved in the inner door being broken and the two alarms being disabled.
Mr Daulton said Tregidgo also revealed that the group had waited an hour after forcing the first door in case the alarm alerted anyone to their presence and that he had been trying to move the safe by pushing it with his feet when police arrived.
She added that he was relatively heavily convicted for a man of his age and he had committed previous burglaries.
Tregidgo admitted the burglary before magistrates last month and on Thursday he admitted that the conviction put him in breach of a suspended sentence order, imposed just four days before the Post Office break-in.
The fraud involved Tregidgo using a trade account to get tools worth £452.99 on his former employer’s account.
Paul Gallagher, for the defence, said: “It was a last-ditch attempt by Mr Tregidgo to try to get some money to assist him with trying to avoid his young son being put up for adoption.”
Mr Gallagher said Tregidgo had been living with his mother but he had been asked to leave and had been sofa surfing and had been planning to use the money to pay a deposit on a property and six months’ rent.
“It was an ill-planned attempt,” said Mr Gallagher. “Not very much deep thought had gone into this at all.”
He added that the greatest loss to Tregidgo was that he had lost the opportunity to prevent his son’s adoption.
Tregidgo was sentenced to three and a half years in prison and ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.