Former Sutton soldier locked up for ‘appalling record of dishonesty’

A former soldier from Sutton with ‘an appalling record of dishonesty’ has been jailed after he disregarded court orders by stealing from shops he is banned from entering.

Carl Airey received a suspended sentence for theft in October 2019 and was ordered not to go into the Co-Op or Wilko, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Tom Heath, prosecuting, said that in January last year, Airey was back before magistrates for further thefts and breaching the original order.

The suspended sentence was extended and a further suspended sentence imposed.

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However, after Airey stole alcohol and deodorant from the same stores in July, August and September, last year, he was sent to Nottingham Crown Court.

Mr Heath said the 47-year-old has 51 previous convictions for 102 offences, half of which are for theft.

Airey, of Jubilee Road, Sutton, admitted five thefts and breaching two suspended sentences.

Emma Coverley, mitigating, said Airey has spent about seven-and-a-half months in custody, where he engaged with mental health and drug teams, and has not committed any new offences since the autumn.

She said: “It’s a long journey for him. He can see he's tested the patience of the court with these new offences.”

Sentencing, Judge Steven Coupland told Airey: “Over a number of years you have put together an appalling record of dishonesty – a lot of it underpinned by drug addiction.

“You decided to commit these offences knowing what the consequences could well be.”

He said Airey, who is ‘now approaching middle age’, suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in the Army which led to drug abuse.

As a result custody is “a far more daunting prospect for you.”

Judge Coupland said: “You now have a settled address with your mum who you help because of her age.”

He said he was able to reduce the sentence ‘because of your sad background and the efforts you have made’.

However, he added: “I’m afraid I can't make a third exception. Only a custodial sentence is appropriate.”

Airey was jailed for 15 months, but he will serve a ‘substantially shorter sentence’ because of the time he has already served.

The judge said: “I hope very much you can put all of this offending behind you.”

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