Drug-user warned to stay out of trouble

A 22-year-old, who stole from shops in Honiton, is told he could face a prison sentence after appearing at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court

A thieving drug–user, who has preyed on shops in Honiton, has been told by magistrates he is on ‘a slippery slope’ and could face a prison sentence if he does not stay out of trouble.

Steven John Oswald, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to criminal damage and theft offences when he appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court in Exeter last Friday.

The 22-year-old admitted damaging a window at Alan Rowe Barbering in Honiton to the value of �200 on June 9.

He also admitted a number of theft offences between May and October ,including the theft of a 40 inch television, valued at �349.99, on May 26, and �43.36 worth of food on July 30, both from the Co-operative supermarket in Lace Walk, Honiton.

Oswald also stole meat items from Budgens in Honiton on August 2 and perfume worth �161 from Debenhams in Exeter on October 14.

In addition to these offences, he pleaded guilty to a further offence of interfering with a motor vehicle on October 31.

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The court heard that Oswald had committed further offences since his case had been adjourned in August.

Richard Parkhouse, defending, said that Oswald “struggles with a severe drug addiction” and had lost his job and home as a result.

The chairman of the bench, Isabelle Kenny, said: “We were shocked to hear about how your life had gone downhill.

“This is your chance to prove that you do want to do something about it, as custody is a serious option for you.”

She added: “This is your chance to show you can keep out of trouble.

“You will go to prison if you don’t keep out of trouble – you are on a slippery slope here. Custody is very high on the agenda for you – you have got to keep out of trouble.”

Oswald was remanded on unconditional bail until December 2, when he will appear for sentencing.