A prolific criminal described by a judge as being responsible for “a one-man crime wave” is back behind bars.
Karl Andrew Legg broke into homes, stole cars and even made off with £250 from a doctors’ surgery during a rampage around Cardiff earlier this year.
The scale of Legg’s offending prompted a judge to exclaim “wow” during his sentencing hearing.
A court heard the 30-year-old, who has 38 previous convictions for 101 offences, had had a difficult upbringing and had first been introduced to hard drugs at the age of 12.
In the first incident of his latest crime spree, Legg, whose address was given as Clos Corris in Gabalfa , broke into the North Road doctors’ surgery in Maindy on April 7 this year. Breaking the window beading, he made off with £250 but was traced when he left a glove and a screwdriver at the scene. His DNA was found on both items.
Happened all over Cardiff
Legg admitted that offence in front of magistrates in Cardiff later that month – but then failed to turn up to his sentencing hearing on May 20.
Subsequently, over the course of about three weeks, he broke into four homes, stealing car keys and then making off with the vehicles.
After he was arrested at the end of June he also asked for a further 10 offences to be taken into account. The incidents happened all over Cardiff, including in Ely, Trowbridge, Rumney, Splott and Penylan.
Prosecutor Lucy Crowther told Cardiff Crown Court that he had broken into the first house in the middle of the night but it was only the following morning the family realised a car had been taken.
Cars were ‘valuable commodity’
That vehicle was recovered, however, after a social media campaign to make others aware of the theft – during which Legg’s name was mentioned as having been involved.
Sentencing, Recorder Christopher Felstead told him: “Between May and June of this year you were something of a one-man crime wave in the north Cardiff area.
“There seems to have been, in total, 19 offences committed by you, and although I don’t have the details of all of them I am satisfied they are all of broadly the same pattern.
“You were clearly looking to steal cars – you clearly thought that was a valuable commodity for you.”
‘Blew an opportunity’
Also referring to the surgery break-in, the judge added: “All of this is in the teeth of a community order of February 5 this year when, following a theft from your employer, you were given a chance by the courts to stay out of prison. You frankly blew an opportunity then.”
Legg, who appeared in court via a video link from HMP Cardiff, was handed four-year terms for each of the four incidents where he broke into homes and stole cars.
He was given a three-year term for the medical centre burglary, six months for failing to surrender to bail and slapped with a one-year sentence for the earlier theft offence for which he had been serving the community order.
All the sentences will be served concurrently, meaning he could be released in 2018.