Forced to drive thief around

PUBLISHED: 17:47 18 July 2007 | UPDATED: 11:18 24 May 2010

A CONVICTED thief has been jailed after he forced his 'drinking buddy' to drive him around Clevedon in the boot of his car to find money

A CONVICTED thief has been jailed after he forced his 'drinking buddy' to drive him around Clevedon in the boot of his car to find money.Royston Barker, of Hillview Avenue, Clevedon, pleaded guilty to a string of charges including possession of a class A drug, assault and criminal damage at North Somerset Courthouse.The 31-year-old also pleaded guilty to driving while disqualified and without insurance after he was spotted by police in Clevedon behind the wheel of a Fiat Bravo on March 22. Barker was arrested after he had told his 'drinking buddy' to drive him around town looking for money.He was sentenced to total of eight weeks imprisonment and ordered to pay outstanding fines from previous convictions totalling £795.Barker was sentenced to an 18-month jail term earlier this month for two charges of theft and one of blackmail at Bristol Crown Court. Barker told magistrates: "I'm a drug addict and a drunk", when asked why he had not paid his fines. In February, police officers visited his house and found what was later identified as 2.2grams of heroin, with a street value of £200.Judith Mills, defending, said it was for his own personal use.Mike Duffy, prosecuting, told magistrates Barker climbed over a garden gate of John Sterry's house in Clevedon, and entered the premises through open patio doors on April 27 after his knocking was ignored. Judith Mills, defending, told the court the two were drinking buddies and that it was a minor disagreement with some pushing and shoving.Mr Duffy said Barker used his weight against Mr Sterry and struck him in the face and on the body.He added: "He told Mr Sterry to drive him around to various addresses to get money while in the boot of his car."This was disputed by Mrs Mills who said there was no need for Mr Sterry to escape if Barker was in the boot of the car. Mr Sterry 'escaped' from the car and went back to his house. Police arrested Barker after he returned to the assault victim's house.

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