Drugs debt led teen to commit house burglaries

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A TEENAGER was responsible for four house burglaries in Flint because he was desperate to pay off a drugs debt, a court heard.

The 17-year-old had family difficulties and turned to the use of cannabis but he was threatened over a debt to his dealer and resorted to burglary.

The burglaries had a significant effect on all the victims, which included a widow in her 70s, and one had occurred at night while the occupant was asleep.

The youth, from Flint, admitted four burglaries when he appeared at Flintshire Youth Court in Mold yesterday.

He was bailed pending sentence but was warned all options would remain open, including custody.

He committed a daytime burglary at a house in Brynmor Drive in Flint on August 8.

The victim, a mother of two, went to the shops for 20 minutes leaving the front door unlocked so her children could get in.

But the youth went into the bedroom and stole money and Euros which she had bought for a forthcoming holiday, explained Alun Humphreys, prosecuting.

A neighbour gave police a description and the defendant's fingerprints were found on a mobile phone box in the bedroom.

He was responsible for a house burglary at Ffordd y Fran in Flint on August 29 when he stole a data tablet, an iPod, an mp3 player, a laptop, two mobile phones and a camera.

It turned out he had used a trellis as a ladder to climb through a first floor bathroom window. Footmarks and fingerprints led police to the defendant.

A woman who lives alone at Ffordd Llewelyn woke up on August 30 to find that items had been stolen from her handbag overnight while she slept.

She discovered the blinds in the kitchen had been rolled up and the window opened, and bank cards, a phone and money had been taken.

The youth’s fingerprints were found on the window.

The last burglary occurred when a woman of 70 returned to her home in Swn y Gwynt after a holiday and found her home had been burgled and jewellery and a watch stolen. She was a widow who had lost her husband two years ago and the burglary had really unsettled her.

Fiona Larking, defending, said the youth had no previous convictions, had been in a “very bad place” in his life, and because of problems at home had started staying out late, mixing with the wrong people and taking drugs.

He had come under pressure because of a cannabis debt and in panic had committed the burglaries.

The boy told magistrates he was really sorry.

“I was just scared. I am really sorry for what I have done. I really am. I am not like that. I cannot understand why I did it,” he said.

See full story in the Leader

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