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Prison for homeless man who stole speakers in Mansfield

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A homeless man who lives in a tent in Mansfield has been jailed for stealing £45 of bluetooth speakers, a court ruled.

Christopher Bickerton was arrested after staff at B&M Bargains, on Stockwell Gate, saw him take the three speakers, on November 24.

He told police he was not receiving benefits and the speakers were not recovered, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

Bickerton, 37, admitted the offence at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Probation officer Cheryl Nisbet said he had been released from prison in September, after a 16 week sentence for shoplifting was imposed in July.

She said he had been offered three appointments to try and find accommodation, but had not engaged very well with either the probation service or the drug workers.

“He is living rough behind the Superbowl and is directly across the road from the probation office,” she said.

Morgan Hogarth, mitigating, said Bickerton was now on a methadone script to tackle his drug addiction and had applied to the housing charity Framework, for help.

But he had paperwork stolen from his tent in October.

Mr Hogarth asked magistrates to suspend a prison sentence, but they decided that the custody threshold had been passed because of Bickerton’s record and because he had not engaged well with the probation or drugs services.

He was given eight weeks in prison, and was ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.