St Albans drug addict brothers escape jail sentence despite stealing charity boxes

PUBLISHED: 17:00 20 June 2016

Court report

Court report


Two charity box thieves have been given a chance to get off drugs by a Crown Court judge.

Gary Jakeman, 26, and his brother Stefan, 25, stole the charity boxes from St Albans City Hospital and St Albans Sub Aqua Club on separate occasions earlier this year.

They had tried to break into the bar area of the St Albans Sub Aqua club on April 7 and when they could not get in they took three charity boxes with an estimated £100 inside.

Prosecutor Kevin West told St Albans Crown Court last Friday that nearly three weeks later, on April 27, Stefan stole two charity boxes and three rice cakes from City Hospital after it had shut for the night.

Gary stole two more charity boxes from the hospital when he also got in at 11.30pm on May 2. It is not known how much the boxes contained.

Stefan, now of Vale Court, St Albans, had earlier been arrested on April 20 for stealing a £35 Oral B electric toothbrush from Morrisons in Hatfield Road. He was in breach of a probation order for not attending an induction meeting.

He appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to two burglaries, theft and breach of a community order. Gary, previously of New Kent Road, St Albans, but now also of Vale Court, appeared for sentence for two burglaries.

Andel Singh, defending, said: “These offences are drug-led. That is the real evil behind these nasty low-value offences.”

Since Stefan had been bailed he had tested negative for drugs other than his methadone prescription. While on remand in Bedford Prison he said Gary “had gone cold turkey” and stopped taking methadone.

Judge John Plumstead sentenced Stefan to a two-year Community Order with a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement. He will have monthly reviews, must not offend for two years and will be supervised by probation officers for 12 months. In addition he must carry out 40 days of a rehabilitation requirement.

The judge told him: “If you don’t get a grip of your life all you are going to do is bounce in and out of prison. If you don’t stay clean you will go to prison as sure as eggs are eggs.”

He bailed Gary for a month for to be sentenced on July 8, telling him not to commit crimes or take drugs.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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