'Nuisance' jailed after running out of last chances

PUBLISHED: 13:50 05 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:27 15 June 2010

A SEATON man has been jailed for 16 weeks for shoplifting and breaching a restraining order prohibiting him from visiting family members in Honiton.

A SEATON man has been jailed for 16 weeks for shoplifting and breaching a restraining order prohibiting him from visiting family members in Honiton.Matthew Lee Stamp, 23, from Mead Way, was sentenced for harassment against his parents, Jeremy and Deborah Stamp, and his grandmother, last month.His sentence also took into account the theft of two George Foreman Grills from the Co-op store in Honiton on March 30.Paul Farmer, chairman of the bench at Central Devon Magistrates' Court, said Stamp had been given enough last chances.The court heard Stamp had breached the restraining order, imposed on January 12, four times and had contacted family members to ask for money.Prosecuting, Karen Ball told the court that Stamp's grandmother - who is 81 and frail due to a heart condition - gave Stamp money, saying "he's my grandson".Mr Farmer said: "There's no indication of the threat of physical violence, but psychological damage appears to have been subjected."Defending, Peter Sienge said: "Here's a young man who showed promise and got into the grips of drugs. "Clearly he has a supportive family - or had - and they helped him as much as possible."He added the restraining order had been ineffective because Stamp was homeless and could not claim benefits so contacted his family for help. He said he now was now living with friends and could seek benefits.He said: "If we send him to prison today those things are likely to fall by the wayside. He's been a terrible nuisance to his family, he accepts that. "Does he deserve to go to prison? Sentencing guidelines probably say he does. But we ask you to look carefully at what ultimately needs to be achieved here."He explained that his family would be desperate to have him back - once he kicked the drug habit."He's desperate for one last chance," he said. "That's exactly what it would be - his record since the restraining order was made has been appalling."Mr Farmer gave Stamp credit for his guilty plea but said Stamp had already had several 'last chances' to comply with the order but repeated the exact same offences with respect to his family and theft.He said" "If a court makes an order it does so expecting it to be complied with. If it's made to protect others it's even more so to be complied with.


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