Persistent offender spared prison sentence

Published date: 27 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A HOMELESS man has been spared jail after pleading guilty to criminal damage and a string of other offences.

James Andrew Beech, 21, of no fixed address, admitted six charges at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, including theft and fraud by false representation.

Matthew Ellis, prosecuting, said Beech went into Premier Stores on Churchill Drive, Wrexham, on July 13 and tried to steal six cans of lager.

Apprehended by a shop assistant, he became angry and bit the assistant on the arm. Later on in the evening, the assistant thought he heard something thrown through the shop window, which he saw had been smashed.

When CCTV footage was reviewed, it showed Beech butting the window.

The court was told Beech was only charged with criminal damage for the incident as the time limit for him to be charged with assault had elapsed.

On November 27 staff at the Wrexham Foyer heard the sound of wood cracking in Beech’s room and saw the wardrobe and bathroom door had been badly damaged.

When asked about the damage, which totalled £130, he said he was “wound up” and had had a few beers.

Three days later Beech received a Samsung laptop computer valued at £500 which had been stolen from a resident at the Hafren house for vulnerable adults. He took it to Cash Converters in Wrexham where he claimed to be the owner and sold it for £198.79.

And on January 27 Beech was caught stealing a tin of Pringles from the Tesco store on Crescent Road, Wrexham and became aggressive towards security staff.

Magistrates chairman Lady Sally Kenyon told Beech: “These offences are serious.

Your record of offending is bad. You are a persistent nuisance to everyone. You steal from people you share accommodation with. You have no regard for others. We all pay for your criminal damage and it is expensive. Biting people is disgusting.”

Kerry Evans, defending, said: “He does have some support from his family, but the problem is the lifestyle he has chosen.

“He has been homeless for some time, and occasionally resides at his grandmother’s house, but is trying to find accommodation with other agencies.”

Beech was given a three month custodial sentence, suspended for a year, a 12 month supervision order and was ordered to attend a four month drug rehabilitation course.

He was told to pay compensation of £198 to Cash Converters, £100 to the Wrexham Foyer and £50 to the Premier Stores shop assistant.

He was also given an exclusion order barring him from the store for 12 months.

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