Full report: Runway intruder is imprisoned for a year

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A MAN who walked onto the Airport runway while a passenger jet was coming in to land and also went on a ‘one-man crime spree’ across the west of the Island has been jailed for one year.

Paulo Dinarte Martins Cardoso (34) appeared in the Magistrate’s Court by video link from La Moye Prison after being found guilty of stealing from vehicles, breaching Airport security and stealing a car on three occasions, as well as a bicycle.

He was told by Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris that by entering people’s cars, he was ‘violating their personal space’ in a place where people felt ‘safe enough’ to leave their vehicles unlocked.

The defendant, who represented himself, committed the first set of offences during February and March last year in St Mary and St Peter, when he stole several items, including more than £500 in cash. He was arrested after officers found a fingerprint on the door handle of one of the vehicles he had entered.

During a trial in December – when Cardoso was described as going on a ‘one-man crime spree’ – it was heard that when police searched the defendant’s home, they found £1,160 in cash, a new £800 television and a £50 PlayStation game. During a police interview, Cardoso told officers that he had tried to enter around 100 cars.

CCTV footage taken from a house in Ville de Bocage, in St Peter, on 25 March, showed the defendant walking around the estate and approaching vehicles. At the time, Cardoso denied the 25 charges but was found guilty on all counts by Assistant Magistrate Peter Harris.

Assistant legal adviser Harrison Gollop, prosecuting, said that later in the year – on 1 July at around 4.45pm – staff within the Airport Control Tower contacted ground staff to say they could see a figure on the runway.

An airport firefighter was sent out and, at the eastern side of the runway, found the defendant looking up to the sky with his hands in a prayer position. After he was escorted towards the Aero Club, he told the firefighter that he was ‘getting some exercise’. He was then arrested. The incident caused a British Airways jet – which was coming in to land – to abort its approach and the runway was briefly closed.

Mr Harris said: ‘It was in July, which is a peak summer month, at around 5pm, and you were on the runway. Clearly planes cannot land if you are on the runway.’

The defendant was previously served with a deportation notice but Mr Harris yesterday said he would not be enforcing this, as Cardoso had family in Jersey and had been here for many years. However, he warned him that, should he offend further, he risked deportation.

‘If you want to live in the Island, then you have got to abide by the rules,’ Mr Harris said. In response, Mr Cardoso said that when he lived in the Island, he preferred to be in prison as the ‘lifestyle was better.’

Sentencing the defendant, Mr Harris said: ‘You have to understand that any time you enter someone’s car, you are violating their personal space. Clearly people have to be careful about their personal belongings but Jersey is a place where people feel safe enough not to have to lock their cars.

‘This was a spate of offending in February and March of last year, and many people were affected by this behaviour. Looking at the totality of the offending, and the effect that this has had on so many members of the public, only a custodial sentence is appropriate.

‘I put this spate of offending at the very top of the court’s jurisdiction and it is possible that it might have received a bigger sanction if it had gone to the Royal Court.’

Because of the defendant’s financial position, two claims for compensation were refused and he was not fined for the Airport offence – the only penalty available to Mr Harris for that charge. Cardoso has already served the equivalent of nine months in prison.

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