Great Britain

Burnley: Thief stole TV and mobile phone from his friends

A MAN twice stole from his friends to finance his drug habit.

Blackburn magistrates heard on the first occasion Iain Whitehead asked to borrow a mobile phone to make a call and then did a runner with the device.

Whitehead, 48, of Wycollar Avenue, Burnley, pleaded guilty to theft of a £350 mobile belonging to Craig Favell and burglary and theft of a TV . He was jailed for 12 weeks.

Rachel Dixon, prosecuting, said Whitehead had known Mr Favell for two years and was at his flat when he borrowed his phone to make a call.

"He said it was a private call and left the room but never returned," said Ms Dixon. "Clearly the theft of a mobile phone causes a high degree of inconvenience for the victim."

The burglary had taken place at the home of another friend after Whitehead entered through the insecure front door. A few minutes later CCTV captured him leaving carrying a TV.

"When police went to investigate the burglary a neighbour told them a man he knew as Ian had tried to sell him a TV," said Ms Dixon.

Mark Williams, defending, said his client and the first victim had been taking drugs together before the offence was committed.

He said Whitehead had done some shopping for the second man and he owed him some money.

"He went round to see if he could get the money he was owed because he needed it to buy drugs," said Mr Williams.

"The door was insecure when he arrived and he waited for the other man to return for some time before he removed the TV. He is not saying he had a right to take the set because he was owed money."

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