A ‘seasoned offender’ tried to steal a cash till from a popular kebab shop but was bravely stopped by the store’s managers and passers-by. 

Serial thief Paul Hutton, of Erleigh Road, was jailed today for multiple offences including criminal damage, theft, assault, possession of class A drugs and more. 

The majority of his four-year sentence, however, came from his attempted burglary of Ye Babam Ye on London Road, Reading, at 4.30 am on July 14, 2021. 

Hutton, 42, was wearing all black, a facemask, socks on his shoes and had a screwdriver in his backpack when he broke into the kebab shop. 

He had selected this store after trying to break into Golden Tanning on the same road just minutes earlier. 

After throwing a rock through Ye Babam Ye’s door, Hutton gained access and set about removing the till. 

The noise woke up the store’s managers, who lived upstairs, and they confronted Hutton. 

One of them was pushed by Hutton and fell to the floor, but the other manager and a passerby managed to restrain him until police arrived. 

In a victim statement read by prosecutor Matthew Knight, the manager who was assaulted said the incident was ‘frightening’ and that it cost him more than just the £480 damage to the door as the restaurant had to close for a short time. 

Hutton’s attempted robbery came almost a year before he stole cash registers from Lincoln Coffee Shop and another tanning salon in Reading in June 2022. 

Police dogs chased him into Forbury Garden and he was caught with £100 stolen from the businesses. 

His Honour Judge Hassan Khan was sentencing Hutton for a multitude of offences carried out between January 2021 and June 2022. 

Other crimes included: 

  • Stealing alcohol from and causing criminal damage to the window of a Sainsbury’s store in January 2021. He also assaulted a security guard. 
  • Attempted theft of £1,300 of fragrances from Next, theft of a £245 handbag from House of Fraser and £280 sunglasses from Sunglass Hut in May 2021.
  • Stealing clothes from Hugo Boss in House of Fraser in September 2021. 
  • Resisting arrest after being caught in possession of cocaine and heroin in December 2021

Defence barrister argued that Hutton, who was 45 previous convictions for 89 offences, was remorseful and capable of rehabilitation. 

But Judge Khan disagreed, claiming Hutton was a ‘seasoned offender’ who had ‘carefully planned’ his burglary of Ye Babam Ye in order to feed his drug use.

“You do not respect authority and it seems you are beyond rehabilitation”, the judge said. 

Hutton was handed a three-year sentence for the burglary of Ye Babam Ye, with another year added to his prison term for the various other offences he committed. 

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Tuesday, August 23.