Ex-heroin addict given last chance by judge after Mansfield break-in

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A householder fled his home in Mansfield as a man smashed a window to break in and steal property, a court was told.

The frightened resident in Victoria Street ran to a Salvation Army office at the end of his road and the police were called.

The intruder, a former heroin addict, turned out to live on the same street, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

As a result the victim felt he could no longer carry on living at his address, said Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham.

The judge told accused Simon Wall (40), a 21 months prison sentence was appropriate but he was being given one last chance to deal with his long-standing problems.

The victim was watching TV on 31st August in the evening when he heard a knock at his window, said Jim Metcalf, prosecuting.

He looked out but could not see anyone. There was a further knock and he opened the back door but again saw no-one. The window was then smashed.

When the householder returned he found his TV had been knocked over and was no longer working. A watch had been taken along with a CD and two DVDs, including one titled ‘Get Rich Quick or Die Trying.’

A neighbour had seen Wall take something from a washing line and wrap it round a brick. When approached, Wall was unsteady on his feet and had a cut to his head.

The court was told he had a 20-year history of offending and had served prison terms for robbery and house burglary.

In mitigation, it was said he had been a heroin addict from 16 but had been drug free in recent years.

Judge Stokes said the householder was entitled to feel safe in his own home.

The sentence included nine months’ drug rehabilitation as part of a 12 months community order with probation supervision. The judge said Wall’s problems seemed to include the use of the heroin-substitute methadone and sleeping tablets.