Spice addict trashed Blackpool caravans used for grieving kids

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court

A burglar trashed a caravan used to give free holidays to the grieving children of Armed Forces staff during a theft spree.

Shane Knight,19, targeted a string of static holiday let caravans run by his long term foster mum, then sold some of the goods to fund his £30 a day spice addiction, Preston Crown Court heard.

It’s made all the more mean by the fact one of those caravans had been set aside for the use of children who had lost a parent in the Armed Forces.

But when he let himself into the caravan used for respite by grieving families, he let off a fire extinguisher, tore mirrors from the wall and ransacked it, leaving it unusable for a week.

Knight, of Peter Street, Blackpool, admitted four burglaries and an attempted trespass at the Marton Mere holiday park in Blackpool and was given a 25 week jail term, suspended 18 months, with a rehabilitation activity.

On April 20 the mum, who had cleaned one of the vans the previous day, found a 50 inch TV was missing and urine on the toilet seat.

Then, on April 23, she found several others had been entered with TVs, electrical items, computer games and an X-box stolen – with the charitable caravan ransacked.

Residents had seen a man loitering and Knight was later arrested after his distraught foster mum raised the alarm.

He was arrested at his sister’s address, and some of the stolen items were found.

He made admissions at the scene. In a victim impact statement the woman said she “felt sick”, hurt and betrayed, and described how she suspected he was struggling with drugs.

She had even taken him on the holiday of a lifetime to Florida in a bid to help him.

In interview Knight said the items were sold to fund his £30 a day addiction to spice, which he says he was under the influence of when he ransacked the caravan.

A probation officer told the court he began using it at 16 when it was legal and available in shops. When it was unobtainable and made illegal he began buying from a dealer and built up a debt of £300, leading to threats of violence against his sister and brother.

Judge Robert Altham said: “ You pleaded guilty to five terribly mean offences. You were effectively a child of that family. That does make this a peculiarly mean offence.

“It’s made all the more mean by the fact one of those caravans had been set aside for the use of children who had lost a parent in the Armed Forces. You were in the grip of an addiction of spice and the courts are increasingly becoming aware of the devastating effect of spice on the people who take it.

“There’s a grievous breach of trust here.”