Thief stole to fund drug habit

A PERSISTENT thief who stole to fund his drug habit told police he entered a building to help an injured burglar.Gary Youngs said he was walking past David Brown's Estate Agents in Falcon Street in Ipswich when he noticed an injured burglar inside who needed his help.

A PERSISTENT thief who stole to fund his drug habit told police he entered a building to help an injured burglar.

Gary Youngs said he was walking past David Brown's Estate Agents in Falcon Street in Ipswich when he noticed an injured burglar inside who needed his help.

When police discovered Youngs there was no one else in the building.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the back door had been smashed open and drawers had been searched but nothing had been taken.


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Richard Wood, prosecuting said the 37-year-old, formerly of the Salvation Army Hostel, Fore Street had a string of previous convictions for theft-related offences.

Mr Wood said: “Mr Youngs said while in the estate agents he opened some drawers in a desk and would have taken something if he had have found anything worth taking.”

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Youngs pleaded guilty to committing burglary on October 8 this year.

Mr Wood said Youngs had 68 previous theft-related offences and was on licence from prison when this latest offence was committed.

Paul Strelitz, mitigating, said Youngs had a “serious drug dependency” and his life had become a pattern of offending for money for drugs, going to prison, becoming “clean”, being released, mixing with friends and taking drugs again.

He said: “It is stability which is going to sort this man out. Probation has said perhaps they can help with relocating him so he is not mixing with the same friends.”

Mrs Recorder Walden-Smith said: “It was plainly an opportunistic offence caused by your long term drug habit and your dependency on class A drugs and abuse of alcohol. Probation say there is a possibility of rehabilitation for you but as you are on licence you are not really suitable for such a programme.”

Youngs was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Mrs Walden-Smith said the sentence was lengthy because of Youngs' previous record. She added that if he had pleaded not guilty but was fund guilty at trial he would have been jailed for four years.

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