Mildenhall man spared prison to tackle addiction
A Mildenhall man who tried to sell stolen jewellery has been spared a prison sentence in an effort to tackle his heroin addiction.
Andre McCall, 36, of Campbell Close, appeared on March 8 at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading guilty to fraud and handling stolen goods.
The court heard that McCall had been seen to go to a gold buying shop in the Guinea Shopping Centre, Newmarket, on September 13 carrying a plastic bag which appeared to contain items of jewellery.
Prosecutor Lori Tucker said McCall had sold some items for £260 and was then seen to leave the shop with the remaining jewellery having given a false name.
Miss Tucker said the jewellery had been stolen in a burglary at a house in Mildenhall which was the home of a US servicewoman and her daughter.
Items stolen included some of great sentimental value including the woman’s grandmother’s wedding ring.
Miss Tucker told the court that 15 items were eventually recovered but precious stones had been prised out of many and were missing.
Defending, Charles Myatt said McCall had not been involved in the burglary but had purchased some of the items stolen from another man.
At the time McCall had been addicted to heroin and he had a history of previous offending, said Mr Myatt.
Mr Myatt said: “It is fairly obvious that when he is not on drugs he is not committing offences.”
While in prison on remand McCall had been prescribed the heroin substitute methadone which had provided him with a “starting point” for efforts to end his drug habit.
Sentencing him, Judge Rupert Overbury told McCall: “It must be obvious to you that when you bought that jewellery for a pittance that it was stolen, obvious that it was of sentimental value and obvious with your background that it had come from burglary.”
Judge Overbury told McCall that the suffering caused by the loss of jewellery, not only of considerable monetary but also sentimental value, had aggravated his offending.
The court heard that McCall had previously appeared in court on 21 occasions in connection with 54 offences.
Although a prison sentence was justified, McCall had already served the equivalent of 10 months behind bars. Judge Overbury said: “If I jailed him he would be back on the streets in a month. I want to help him to break this cycle of offending.”
McCall was sentenced to a 12 month community order with probation service supervision and a drug rehabilitation order for 6 months.
Judge Overbury said: “I don’t want to set you up to fail. I want to give you a chance to rid yourself of this addiction.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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