Honiton burglar given deferred sentence

Matthew Stamp given last chance to clean up his act.

A FORMER Honiton man has been given a last chance to kick drug addiction and get his life on the straight and narrow.

Matthew Lee Stamp faced a custodial sentence when he appeared before magistrates last week, having pleaded guilty to a string of offences including a burglary in Lace Walk.

Instead of sending him to prison, the court instead decided to defer sentence for four months.

Stamp, 25, who now lives in Gabriel House, Exeter, appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court, in Exeter, charged with burglary, thefts and breaching a restraining order.

Magistrates heard the burglary took place in Lace Walk on April 5 and Stamp was apprehended after he was clearly identified by CCTV cameras forcing open electronic doors at The Original Factory Shop.

After gaining entry to the store, he went on to steal four pairs of jeans and a number of hooded sweatshirts.

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Stamp was found with four bottles of alcohol in his possession, valued at �125.48, which had been stolen from The Co-operative, also in Lace Walk, a short time earlier.

The court heard that, during his initial interview, he accepted that had made no attempt to pay for the items and that he had forced open the doors to The Original Factory Shop and had stashed the clothes in a nearby wood with the intention of selling them on later.

Stamp was also charged with stealing a bottle of Hugo Boss men’s fragrance from Debenham’s in Exeter on April 23.

In addition to the matters of dishonesty, Stamp was accused of breaching a restraining order, which was granted on January 14, 2010, after he was convicted of harassing his parents

The prosecution told the court that he turned up at his parents’ address, in Rosemount Close, on April 1 and 11 and was seen looking through the living room window.

Mr James Rickard, defending, described Stamp as having a troubled drug history and that he was now in stable accommodation.

Sentence was deferred for four months and the case has been adjourned until Wednesday, August 10.

The chairman of the bench, Liz Cameron, said: “We want a good length of time to see if you can comply and give it a chance. We want you to come back to the court with a positive report.

“This is your big chance; we are not going to sentence you. We are giving you a deferred sentence to come back to the court, then the court will decide. You ought to be looking at a custodial sentence.

“This is your chance to make a break from the drugs and try and get clean and on the straight and narrow.”