The court of Aveiro has sentenced a 30-year-old man to seven years in prison for 17 break-ins at residences owned by foreigners in the municipalities of Murtosa and Estarreja between May 2014 and February 2015.

The man, who is currently in jail, was charged with 17 felonies of qualified theft and sentenced to 42 and a half years in “partial punishment”. In legal terms, he was given a single sentence of seven years’ imprisonment.

The presiding judge stressed that the fact that the residences were not inhabited, contributed to “mitigate” the degree of illegality, because the owners “did not suffer the shock inherent in acts of this nature.”

The position of the defendant who cooperated with the investigation and fully assumed the facts during the trial was also taken into account by the panel of judges.

The court also upheld two civil claims, ordering the defendant to pay compensation of €599  to the owner of one of the robbed residences and €2000 to the Pardilhó Parish Care Center.

Also in the same case, a scrap merchant who bought some of the stolen goods was sentenced to 120 days’ fine at a daily rate of seven euros, for a total of €840 euros, for five counts of crimes.

Although it was not established that the scrap dealer was aware of the illegal origin of the goods, the judge said that the business should have raised suspicions because the value of the same was lower than the real value and knew that the seller was addicted and had no gainful activity.

A third defendant who was accused of having participated in one of the thefts, was acquitted.

During the trial, the main defendant confessed the facts, justifying the criminal activity by the need of money to satisfy his drug addiction.

According to the indictment of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the defendant cycled the various places in those counties in search of temporarily uninhabited houses, namely owned by.

The assailant entered the houses by means of break-in or staggering and stole copper from water heaters, taps, lamps, furniture, and aluminium doors and windows.