File photo of homeless man

Ipswich: Homeless man stole washing powder in the hope of being sent to prison

Friday, December 7, 2012
9.07 AM

HOMELESSNESS and despair led to a young man stealing washing powder in a bid to be sent to prison, a court heard.

Dante Hall, 24, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Magistrates heard the recovering drug addict had stolen eight packets of Ariel washing powder tablets worth £68.40 from the Co-op in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

The court was told that although the 24-year-old had 25 previous convictions for 55 offences, he had been clean from drugs since March this year. Despite this he was still without a permanent home.

When asked why he stole the tablets, Hall said: “Due to me being homeless. That’s all it boils down to really. (It’s) probably better off me being in prison, than on the streets. I still haven’t been housed. I gave up basically.”

Earlier prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Hall had gone into the Norwich Road Co-op on Monday at 2.30pm and taken the washing powder tablets.

Officers who arrested Hall had to subdue him by using Pava spray.

In addition to the theft, Hall pleaded guilty to breaching a six-month conditional discharge he was given by magistrates on June 25 for another theft.

Hall has been in drug rehabilitation since September 2011 and a probation officer told the court that he had been doing well on his drug rehabilitation requirement.

The officer said Hall had performed well on a community order and had been the star pupil on a thinking skills programme.

The probation officer said his colleagues would look at accommodation for Hall.

Magistrates gave him a six-month supervision order. He was also ordered to pay a £60 government surcharge.