Homeless burglar was desperate

Jamie Plumb
Jamie Plumb
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A homeless and hungry teenager who said he was desperate for food raided a Blackpool flat.

Jamie Plumb pawned a stolen DVD player and Freeview box so that he could get something to eat. Several days later he pickpocketed a man in the street and stole his wallet.

Preston Crown Court heard two days later he handed himself in at Blackpool police station to admit his crimes.

He was given a sentence of one year and 40 weeks’ detention by a judge who told him: “This is a sad and desperate case, not just for the victims of your offending, but indeed for you”.

Plumb, 19, of no fixed address, admitted burglary and theft. The burglary at a flat on Keswick Road occurred in August. David Clarke, prosecuting, said the occupant had been away for four days.

When he returned on August 19 he found a door had been kicked open and there was powder from a fire extinguisher all over the floor.

“There were even footprints in the powder,” said Mr Clarke.

Items had been stolen including a DVD player and a Freeview box. The victim was so concerned by what happened that he moved out.

The theft was carried out on August 23 on a man who had just used a cashpoint machine on Abingdon Street. He put his card in his wallet that contained £30 cash.

He later put a hand in his pocket and realised his wallet was missing.

Two days later Plumb walked into Blackpool police station to hand himself in.

Mr Clarke said: “He said he had taken stuff to Cash Converters and got £75 for the stolen property.

“He explained he had been hungry and had no money.”

The court also heard that he had kept an eye on the flat for two days, to see when it would be empty, before doing the burglary.

Ten weeks earlier, he had been placed on a suspended sentence.

Julie Taylor, defending, said Plumb had reached “desperate levels” at the time.

She added: “He had been brought up in care from a very young age, passed from pillar to post. It is unlikely either of the crimes would have been detected had he not handed himself in within days of the second one and told the police what he had done.

“He apologises profusely for this offending”.

Judge Michael Byrne told the teenager as he passed sentence: “You have been given chance after chance in the past and not taken it.

“The only element of decency was that you handed yourself in and admitted the offences to police”.