Jail for drug addict who plagued aunt for cash

A heroin addict who relentlessly pestered his pensioner aunt for cash - getting up to £100 a day out of her - has been jailed for a total of 16 weeks.

Mark Bailey (35) turned up at 65-year-old Anne Bailey’s Burnley home several times a day and the victim at first handed over money as she was fed up of calling the police.

He was eventually given a harassment warning by officers and told to stop it, but later started wanting more funds and his upset aunt called police again when he wouldn’t take no for an answer, the town’s magistrates heard.

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The hearing was told Bailey struck partly while subject to a suspended jail term for two charges of attempted burglary.

The defendant, who has a long record, was given 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year, on November 19th. He was back in court on December 8th, after breaching it by pinching Paul Smith aftershave worth £17.99 from Boots two days after, on November 21st.

Magistrates on that occasion extended the operational period of the term by two months to 14 months and imposed a two week curfew, between 7pm and 7am, which he went on to flout by being absent for more than three-and-half hours.

Bailey, of Girvan Grove, Burnley, admitted harassment of his aunt, causing her alarm and distress, between October 11th and December 18th, failing to comply with a community order and beaching the suspended term.

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He was told to pay an £80 victim surcharge and given a six month restraining order, banning contact with Anne Bailey.

Prosecutor Dominic Howell said on October 21st, Bailey was given a harassment warning by police.

His aunt had made a statement, telling officers the defendant had been calling at her address for two weeks, on a daily basis, numerous times a day, asking for money and cigarettes.

Mr Howell continued said: “She says she gave him between £20 and £100 per day. She knew it was encouraging him, but she had had enough of calling the police.”

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Mrs Bailey made a further statement on December 18th, saying on that date, Bailey had approached her on a number of occasions, asking for £12 and had been refused.

Mr Howell said: “He has been told in no uncertain terms to stop. She has asked for a restraining order, to give her some breathing space.

“In interview, he admitted harassment. He accepted he shouldn’t be doing it, but said he needed money for drugs.”

Mark Williams (defending) said: “Everything revolves around one central issue and that’s drugs.”

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The defendant had lived with his mother and had always had a very close relationship with his aunt.

Mr Williams said: “Unfortunately, because of the drugs, the relationship with his mother and his aunt has become extremely strained, to the extent his aunt felt she had no option but to contact the police in October and say she couldn’t do with him coming round.

“It’s quite sad really, reading the statement, because she wants to help, but realises by helping him she became part of the problem.”