Upset thief stole wine after death of friend

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A thief stole a £3.99 bottle of wine after the upset and shock of his friend falling to his death from a window, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told how Howard Crabtree (49) was there in the room when the tragedy happened as he had been staying with the friend.

Crabtree, who was in breach of a conditional discharge for theft, had had a significant drink problem over the years and his response to what happened was to go and get a drink.

The defendant, of Rossetti Avenue, Burnley, admitting stealing the wine from B and M Bargains in the town on October 5th. He was fined £90, with a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Mark Williams (defending) said: “He’s not been a thief in the past. He may have been many other things, but certainly not a thief.”

The solicitor said the defendant was upset about his friend’s death and also lost his address. He didn’t have any money and tried to take the wine. The property was recovered.

He added: “There has been a significant event which has perhaps led to this on this occasion. But, going forward, it’s hoped he will not repeat this behaviour again.”