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Four years in jail for prolific burglar who targeted London bars and pubs

A man who committed a series of burglaries from pubs and bars over a two-month spree has been jailed.

Paul Sean Maher, 51, of Caledonian Road, Islington (N1), also known as Dean Frances Maher, was sentenced to four years and four months in prison at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday, 22 August 2018, after pleading guilty to seven counts of burglary.

In court it was described how Maher carried out a two-month-long series of burglaries, targeting staff offices and residential premises in or near pubs and bars in London, including the City, often entering through insecure doors when staff’s backs were turned.

On 18 January 2018, Maher entered the Ye Olde Cock Tavern in Fleet Street and stole an iPad belonging to a member of staff. Six days later, he accessed a flat above Rudds Bar, Queen Victoria Street, doing a search of the property and leaving with an expensive laptop estimated to be worth £2,000.

He struck again on 26 January 2018, when he targeted a residential flat above the Red Lion pub in Eldon Street and took a camera worth £900. On 8 March 2018, he was spotted on CCTV removing six bottles of champagne, valued at £410, from a second pub in Fleet Street, The Punch Tavern before hiding them under his clothes and walking out.

Earlier in the year, he also committed burglaries at three North London pubs in one day, on 10 January 2018, when he targeted two public houses in Essex Road (N1) and one in White Lion Street (N1).

Detectives from City of London Police working in partnership with Metropolitan Police Islington’s Angel Police Team spoke to witnesses and gathered CCTV and Maher was quickly identified after his image was shared on local police intelligence systems. In interview, Maher admitted each of the burglaries, stating he had stolen each of the items with the intention of selling them on for money.

PC Katherine Crosskey from the City of London Police commented:

“Maher, like many burglars, took advantage of insecure rooms, or people’s attention being elsewhere, to steal people’s belongings which he took with the intention of selling on for his own gain.

“He rightly admitted his wrongdoing, and hopefully this sentence gives him the opportunity to reflect on his actions, and brings some comfort to his victims – some of whom have not had their items returned to them.”

PC Craig Arnott from the Islington’s Angel Police team commented: 

“We are pleased with the result handed down by the court in relation to these offences.  Maher deliberately targeted licensed premises where he knew he could gain access to staff only areas in order to steal.”

“Owing to the strong working relationship we have with licensed venues in the area and our Pub Watch Group, we were able to link Maher to all three offences and obtain sufficient evidence against him.”

Maher received three years’ imprisonment for the Queen Victoria Street burglary, and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170. He received a consecutive term of eight months for the Olde Cock Tavern burglary. He was given three concurrent eight-month terms for the north London matters, to run consecutively with the other sentences.

He also received concurrent terms of three years for the Red Lion burglary, and eight months for the Punch Tavern offence. Maher pleaded not guilty to two further pub burglary offences, with the matters ordered to lie on file.

Tips on how to tackle burglary:

Whether at home or work, there are a number of ways to lessen the chances of becoming a victim of burglary. These include –

  • Remember to close and lock all staffroom doors.
  • Be aware of people you don’t recognise hanging around ‘staff only’ areas or following you into the building.
  • Lock all personal items away or place them out of sight/somewhere out of reach.

For more information, or to download crime prevention posters, visit https://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/advice-and-support/protecting-business/commercial-burglary/Pages/default.aspx#downloads


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