A THIEF who stole a neighbour’s phone and pawned it for just £15 wants compensation – because his victim had originally accused him of robbery.
Former Stratford man Jodie Hunter pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to robbing the woman of her phone in July, but guilty to an alternative offence of theft.
Accepting those pleas and offering no evidence on the robbery charge, prosecutor Graeme Simpson explained the woman was ‘vulnerable,’ and had the mental capacity of a ten-year-old.
And he pointed out she had made a number of false allegations against 33 year-old Hunter and others in the past.
Hunter, of Windy Arbour, Kenilworth, was jailed for four months – but was due to be freed straight away because of the time he had spent in custody on remand.
Mr Simpson said: “The defendant came into possession of her phone when he went to see her at about eight in the morning on July 23.
“He left with the phone and took it to a pawnbrokers’ in Leamington where he received £15. He would have been entitled to the return of the phone if he paid £28 within 56 days.”
The court heard Hunter had a very long record of previous convictions, mainly for dishonesty, and Judge Richard Griffith-Jones commented: “He’s a thief.”
But among his other convictions was one for arson, for which he was jailed for two years in December 2012.
That had involved an incident when he had pushed chip paper through the letterbox of a neighbour in Hathaway Green Lane, Stratford, where he was living at the time, and set light to it.
Simon Ward, defending, said Hunter had had a problem with class A drugs, but had been working with the Carrot team since being remanded in custody following his arrest in September.
And, if he was free to attend, an appointment had been made for him with the community drug team in Leamington later that day.
Mr Ward said: “He feels strongly about this case.
“In the unused material are allegations this lady has made against him which the police have found to be palpably untrue.
“He fears there’s a danger this could happen again, and he would like to move away.”
Sentencing Hunter, Judge Griffith-Jones told him: “This was a mean offence of theft by you, a dyed-in-the-wool thief.
“That, taken with the vulnerability of the owner, makes it so serious that only a sentence of custody can be justified.”
But of the four-month term, he added: “Because you’ve been in custody since the 11th of September, I pass this sentence on the basis that I’m anticipating your immediate release.”
But rather that being thankful for that, as he was led from the dock Hunter complained loudly: “What about compensation for the false allegation?”