Last chance for Honiton thief

Co-Operative and The Original Factory Shop burglar escapes with a suspended sentence.

A DRUG user who harassed his family in Honiton and committed two burglaries in the town is running out of chances after avoiding a jail sentence.

Matthew Lee Stamp, of Gabriel House, Exeter, received a suspended sentence, after pleading guilty, when he appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ last Friday for breaching a restraining order on conviction and committing thefts in Honiton and Exeter.

The court heard that the 25-year-old had breached a restraining order he had received on January 14, 2011, which prohibited him from entering his parents’ address in Rowcroft Close.

On April 1, Stamp was seen looking into his parents living room window at 4pm and was photographed by his father three times before leaving. He breached the order once again on April 11, when he was seen at his parents’ address, which was in breach of his bail conditions at the time.

Karen Ball, prosecuting, told the court that this harassment has been stressful for his parents and had made them feel on edge in their own home.

Stamp also committed a burglary on April 5, when he was caught on CCTV opening the electronic sliding doors of The Original Factory Shop and stole clothing, including jeans and hooded tops, to the value of �118.

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On his arrest, police found four bottles of spirits to the value of �125, which were stolen from the neighbouring Co-Operative Store a short time earlier.

However, the items of clothing were not recovered and Stamp said he had hidden them in nearby woods with the intention of selling them on later.

On April 23, Stamp was caught stealing a bottle of fragrance from Debenhams in Exeter and was detained by security staff outside the store.

Gareth Owen, defending, told the court that Stamp had maintained stable accommodation and had complied with the directions of the court by attending a drugs course.

He said: “He has made pretty good progress for someone who has offended to feed his drug habit, but it does take time.”

The chairman of the Magistrates Avril Long, said: “This is so serious that only custody will do. We have given you a suspended sentence for 12 months – keep out of trouble and comply with the next order.

“You must comply with all these orders and requirements of the court. You have tested positive in the last two weeks, this is not satisfactory and your chances are running out. You must keep your accommodation and accept these chances they are handing out to you with both hands.”

He received a suspended sentence of 21 weeks and must comply with a curfew for three months from 7pm to 7am.