Debts led man to steal from mum

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A MILDENHALL man stole from his mother to pay off a drugs debt, a court heard.

Steven Hall, 30, of St John’s Close, stole a television set, which had been a wedding anniversary present, from his mother’s home in Emmanuel Close, Mildenhall, while she was out on the morning of January 9.

Hall pleaded guilty to theft at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday and was sentenced to a 12-month community order and told to pay £169 compensation for the television.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp said it appeared that Hall had waited until his brother, who also lived at the address, was taking a shower before he carried out the theft.

Hall’s mother said she had been left frightened by the theft and wanted nothing more to do with her son.

She had changed all the locks on her doors.

In mitigation, Greg Perrins said Hall found it difficult to understand why his mother wanted no more contact with him and it had caused him great upset.

Mr Perrins said: “She has effectively disowned him.”

Hall had a history of drug use which began when he was aged 19 but he was now taking a drug substitute and was motivated to co-operate with efforts to help him end his drug use.

Mr Perrins said: “His offending lies with his drug problem.Although at the time he wasn’t using illegal drugs, this was an offence committed to pay back a debt from when he was in prison.”

During sentencing, Judge John Devaux told Hall: “It was a mean offence.”

Judge Devaux said that despite Hall’s extensive record of previous offences of dishonesty, he had taken into account his willingness to tackle his drug use and it was possible to avoid a prison term.

As well as the community order, Hall was told to comply with a six- month drug rehabilitation order.

Judge Devaux also made a restraining order prohibiting Hall from contacting his mother.