Weston man steals hundreds from friend

A HOMELESS thief who abused his friend’s trust by stealing more than �1,000 worth of her savings has narrowly escaped jail.

Joseph McIntyre appeared at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges on Friday charged with theft.

For eight months the 23-year-old had been living on the sofa at the home of Catherine Williams and her partner in Appletree Court, Worle.

But on February 2, McIntyre, who is unemployed, stole �1,105 worth of cash belonging to Ms Williams before fleeing on a pink bicycle, also belonging to the victim.

As soon as Ms Williams noticed the cash had gone she informed the police who arrested McIntyre shortly after at Weston train station.

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Prosecuting, Kelly Marshall, said: “Police were called to the train station after receiving reports that the railway staff were concerned about the behaviour of a man. He admitted he had taken the money as he wanted a new start and he had taken the bicycle as he wanted to get to the train station quickly.”

Most of the money was recovered in �20 notes in his rucksack but �335 remained unaccounted for.

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Defending, Sue Baker, said that McIntyre, of no fixed address, was remorseful.

Mrs Baker said: “Mr McIntyre is quite a vulnerable young man and does not enjoy much in the way of family support.

“He had become aware that his presence was no longer desired at this address and was also feeling very down and depressed.”

Magistrate Marilyn Darg said the bench considered giving McIntyre a custodial sentenced due to the seriousness of the crime.

Ms Darg said: “We believe this is serious as not only is it a theft, but you have abused the trust of someone who had given you hospitality for eight months and this isn’t how you should have behaved.”

McIntyre was given a four-week prison sentence, suspended for six months, and was ordered to pay �335 compensation to Ms Williams.

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