Laughton thief who stole hoover told to clean up his act

A SERIAL thief who stole his mum’s vacuum cleaner while she was on holiday was given a “final” chance by a judge after insisting he was cleaning up his act.

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Joe Light (25, pictured), of Kingswood Avenue, Laughton, had fallen into the habit of selling items so he could buy drugs.

But he was spared jail a third time after the court heard he had not used crack cocaine for a month and had replaced the £250 Vax.

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In committing the theft at the end of May, Light, who was using cannabis and crack cocaine, breached a suspended sentence order.

Ms Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, said: “At the time, the defendant was living with his mother.

“She had gone on holiday, leaving him on his own at home.”

Light’s mother said his life had been “spiralling downwards” and he had been selling things to fund his drug habit, the prosecutor said.

“She was in touch with him while she was away but he did not try and tidy up for when she returned home,” Ms Hollis said.

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“When she tidied up the following morning, she found it [the vacuum cleaner] was missing.

“He indicated that he had smashed it up and, when she confronted him about it, he was abusive to her.”

Light, whose mother has serious ongoing health concerns, admitted at a hearing to theft and breaching a suspended sentence order and a conditional discharge.

The court heard he had been given a 12-month conditional discharge at the crown court in November for threatening behaviour, criminal damage and breaching a suspended sentence order.

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In that incident, he hurled foul-mouthed abuse at police officers at his home in Laughton and threatened them with a table leg.

He was also given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, in March last year for criminal damage.

Mitigating, Mr Chris Aspinall, said Light’s mother had not thought the police would pursue her complaint and she was “deeply upset” by the fact it had come to court.

“The plea by his mother, and by Mr Light, is to be given a further chance,” said Mr Aspinall.

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“His mother will struggle because because he is her carer on an almost daily basis.

“Mixed with difficulties he’s got with cannabis and occasional use of crack cocaine, he is his mother’s carer, despite his own problems, and she would be in grave difficulty if he was to lose his liberty.”

Judge David Dixon said: “What I’m going to do is unusual.

“Your situation is complicated by your mother’s situation and your role with your mum’s care, so I’m giving you a final chance.

“Any breach of any of these orders is now reserved to me — this is a deal between me and you.”

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Mr Dixon told Light to complete ten more days of drug rehabilitation and added an extra year to his drug rehabilitation requirement as part of a 12-month community order.

He is still serving the suspended jail sentence and the 12-month conditional discharge.

“It’s obvious that you care for her [your mum] but if you do, then you have got to sort yourself out,” said Mr Dixon.

“I want real progress, because, let’s be honest, you have got responsibilities.

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“Your mum brought you up, she looked after you and the time’s now come when she needs you, so it’s your job to give it back.

“If you don’t co-operate with me, then you’d better start thinking about how your mum will cope without you.”

Light told the judge that he had not used crack cocaine since he was in police custody and promised him he would test negative for the drug at his next drugs review.

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