Drug user tried to trade in stolen primary school musical instrument
A man has been jailed after trying to exchange a stolen musical instrument for drug money.
Dean Richmond attempted to trade in a baritone horn at Cash Converters, in Ipswich, two days after the £200 instrument went missing from the boot of a car.
Richmond, 28, of no fixed address, admitted handling stolen goods at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Lesla Small said he and another male entered the shop on March 3 and asked how much money they could get for the horn.
When Richmond claimed the item belonged to his associate’s mother, a member of staff became suspicious and called a telephone number on the carrying case.
It soon transpired the horn was on loan to Sidegate Lane Primary School and had vanished from the boot of a car belonging to the parent of a pupil on March 1.
Richmond left after 45 minutes of waiting, but was later identified on CCTV and arrested.
On Wednesday, he also pleaded guilty to stealing a £32 bottle of perfume from Boots on February 23 and failing to comply with sex offender notification requirements on March 9.
Ms Small said Richmond was required to attend Museum Street police station on a weekly basis after receiving a suspended six-week prison sentence for sexual assault in July 2018.
He was jailed last November for failing to comply with the order on a previous occasion and was still on licence following his release in February.
John Hughes, mitigating, said Richmond was a class A drug user and had developed a chronic addiction to alcohol as a teenager.
“Consequently, if he has no money to meet both addictions, he resorts to stealing,” he added.
“He accepts entirely that he was responsible for theft from Boots.
“He says the person he accompanied to Cash Converters produced the instrument, and although he had a good idea it didn’t belong to a member of their family, he didn’t question where it came from because he stood to gain some benefit from trading it.
“In desperation for drugs, he doesn’t think clearly. His chaotic lifestyle is such that, while it may seem straightforward to turn up at a police station, rational thinking goes out of the window when you’re homeless and your every waking moment is focussed on finding drugs.”
Richmond was jailed for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £32 in compensation to Boots.