Burglar admits he fears for his life after ‘a hit is put out on his head’ after string of West Sussex crimes

A burglar awaiting sentence while behind bars told a court a ‘hit had been put out on his head’ following crimes he claimed he committed to pay off a drug debt.

Jason Hodge-Reid, 33, admitted three charges of burglary and two of attempted burglary for crimes during 2018 and January this year in Bognor, Littlehampton, Rustington, Angmering and Wick when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Portsmouth Crown Court

Portsmouth Crown Court

The court heard how the defendant had stolen items including cash, jewellery, watches, phones, computers, laptops, passports, a music system and a remote controlled car and helicopter.

The defendant, who appeared via video link from Lewes prison in East Sussex, revealed the problems he had been having in jail after being subjected to a ‘mob-handed attack’ by fellow inmates.

He said: ‘I believe that a hit has been put out on my head. My mum has even been forced to move out from her house after being threatened.’

Defending David Bathurst supported the claim – with him urging authorities to move him to another prison.

Mr Bathurst said: ‘The defendant wants to get on and start his sentence as soon as possible because he feels extremely vulnerable where he is incarcerated.

‘He was the victim of a savage mob-handed attack by other inmates at Lewes prison – he wants to get out of there as soon as possible.’

Mr Bathurst acknowledged it was to Hodge-Reid’s disadvantage if he was sentenced straight away with outstanding matters set to be taken into consideration for other offences.

He added: ‘The ideal outcome would be for him to be moved from the prison he is in – hopefully the governor at the prison can help with this – and for the case to be adjourned and him be sentenced on another occasion.

‘He has been terrified into committing offences and his mum has even had to be moved from her house after being threatened.’

Prosecutor Timothy Moores said authorities were aware of the situation. He said: ‘Police are aware he has been attacked in prison and that there is an ongoing risk to him.’

After asking judge Timothy Mousley QC about a specific move, the defendant, of no fixed address, was told: ‘I don’t have any jurisdiction.’

The case was adjourned until March 22.