Drug addict stole £7,000 from safe at auction house

Clarke and Simpson Auction Centre in Campsea Ashe, near Woodbridge

Clarke and Simpson Auction Centre in Campsea Ashe, near Woodbridge - Credit: Google Maps

A cocaine addict who burgled his mum's place of work after stealing her keys has been handed a suspended sentence. 

Luke Mann, 25, stole around £7,000 from a safe at Clarke and Simpson Auctions in Ashe Row, Campsea Ashe, to fund his drug habit, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Matthew Bagnall, prosecuting, told the court how auction centre manager arrived at work around 7.15am on July 20 last year and found Mann's mother waiting outside. 

She told him she could not find her keys so he said he would let her in. They walked to the front door but found it unlocked and that the alarm had been deactivated. 

An office, which contained a safe, was also open and they discovered the safe had been accessed and around £7,000 of cash had been taken. 

When the CCTV footage was checked, Mann, who was also a former employee of the auction house, was identified. 

Police visited Mann's address and he told officers he knew why they had come to speak to him, and his mother's keys were also found. 

Most Read

Mann previously pleaded guilty to burglary and theft on the basis that he was subject to threats over a debt. 

Appearing for sentence on Friday, Mann, of Mill Road, Newbourne, near Woodbridge, also asked for another offence, in which he stole around £10,000 worth of jewellery from his parents in October 2021 to be taken into consideration. 

The court heard that Mann had three previous convictions for three offences. 

Joanne Eley, mitigating, said a doctor's report detailed Mann's mental health issues and his cocaine misuse over six years. 

She said Mann's parents were still supportive despite his actions. 

Recorder Darren Reed said Mann admitted his cocaine habit was costing him around £400-500 per day. 

It was estimated over 56 days, Mann had taken around £10,000 from his parents to fund his drug habit. 

Recorder Reed said the offences had passed the custody threshold but he was prepared to suspend the sentence for Mann to receive help for his drug addiction. 

He sentenced Mann to a total of seven months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 25 rehabilitation activity days. 

Mann was also ordered to undertake the thinking skills programme and a drug rehabilitation requirement.