Thief went back to drugs after death of mum

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A thief who went back to drugs and crime after his mother died on Christmas Day helped himself to two jackets and a gift set, a court heard.

Vincent Cheetham (52) had been clean of illegal substances, but was tempted back into misuse when his life went downhill after his loss. He offended to fund his habit.

Cheetham struck on two consecutive days at T K Maxx in Burnley and walked out of the store with one of the jackets on. He had not been in trouble since 2015, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told.

The defendant, of Leyland Road, Burnley, admitted theft of the CK1 set, worth £40 from Boots, last December 19th, and the theft of two jackets, worth £49.99 each, from TK Maxx, on January 20th and 21st.

He was given an 18-month conditional discharge and told to pay £49.99 compensation to TK Maxx.

Mr Mark Williams (defending) said Cheetham had “something of a record” before 2008 and had had drugs issues in the past. He became drug-free and had not taken any prescription medication.

Mr Williams added: “His mother passed away on Christmas Day 2016.

“It seems that had a significant effect on him. He thought he was perhaps dealing with it better than he was.

“As soon as he started to dabble, it didn’t take long before the drug took a grip.

“He hasbeen to see Inspire (the drug treatment service) and hopefully, he will be prescribed medication.”