Thief is jailed for targeting a woman after fit

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A PROLIFIC burglar, who stole a purse from a woman as she recovered from an epileptic fit, has been jailed for a total of 30 weeks.

Christopher Hickling, of Hamlet Road, Haverhill, was jailed for a string of ‘serious’ offences at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court, on Friday.

At a previous hearing, the 32-year-old pleaded guilty to a total of six offences.

Emma Howson, prosecuting, said that Hickling and a friend had been travelling on a bus from Bury to Haverhill when a woman had an epileptic fit.

The court heard how the two men approached her to see if she was alright and Hickling was then seen ‘rummaging under her seat’. The woman later discovered her purse was missing. Her father found it discarded off of the bus and £15 was missing.

Hickling was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison for the offence that presiding magistrate, Ken Turner, branded as ‘extremely serious’.

Mrs Howson said that Hickling told police he was ‘off his head on drugs and didn’t remember anything’.

Hickling also received an eight week jail term to run concurrently for breaking into four cars in Bury St Edmunds and for making off without payment after eating a meal at Bury’s Frankie and Benny’s.

Mrs Howson said that on August 21 four cars were broken into causing more than £2,800 of damage – two sat navs and a hands free kit were taken. Police officers found Hickling in the back seat of a damaged car covered in dried blood. The window had been smashed.

Declan Gallagher, in mitigation, said there had been ‘no intention’ not to pay at Frankie and Benny’s. Mr Gallagher said Hickling thought his friend would return with cash to pay for the meal after staff refused a cheque.

For breaching a suspended sentence, the sentence was activated and Hickling was jailed for 12 weeks, to run consecutively.