A burglar has been jailed for 18 months for a string of offences he committed to feed his drug habit.
Dean Jackson, 32, appeared virtually at Lewes Crown Court this morning (Thursday 29 April) charged with taking a car without consent, driving another stolen car, three burglaries and various court breaches.
The court heard that the owner of the car that he took had spent months trying to sort out parking tickets Jackson had been given while driving it round the city “treating it as his own car”.
And the owners of Electric Bikes Sussex, at Brighton Marina, which he broke into twice, said that they were still anxious about further break ins as a result.
Sophie Evans, prosecuting, said that Jackson, of no fixed address, was charged with taking the car in May this year after it had been reported stolen on Friday 15 March 2019. The owner, Mr Bartlett, had left it with the engine running outside an Indian takeaway in Hove.
She said that Jackson was caught when he was spotted by a member of the public getting into the car and then wheeling it off down the road more than two months later on Tuesday 28 May. His DNA then found on items left in the car.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Mr Bartlett said: “I’ve been through lots of stress because of parking tickets. I’ve managed to sort them out except one company who I was getting worried wouldn’t listen.
“I have been seriously worried because I thought they thought I was the one driving the car.
“My partner is disabled and I spent £200 on a runaround. When the car was found, I went to the recovery and they said I had to pay £150 just to look at my car.
“When I finally got it back, it was trashed and there were knives and cigarettes in the back.
“I had left my passport in the car and I felt paranoid that he and his druggy friends would starting causing problems for me.”
Ms Evans said that Jackson had been spotted the following month at Brighton Marina approaching a stolen Mercedes which he unlocked with a key and then drove.
There wasn’t enough evidence to charge him with stealing the car but he was charged with driving without a licence or insurance.
Ms Evans told the court that the first of the three burglaries that he was charged with happened on Monday 22 July at the Coach House Café, in Old London Road, Patcham.
He and another man were spotted trying to break into the café by damaging the door. When that failed, one of them grabbed a brick. The pair took the till with £90 inside.
Then in December, Jackson twice broke into Electric Bikes Sussex at Brighton Marina. The first time, on Monday 2 December, he broke the door and took a bike worth £2,000 and the till with £157 inside. The till was later found on Brighton beach by a member of the public who returned it.
Then on Thursday 12 December he returned and smashed a window and tried to grab one of the bikes. But the shop had beefed up security and he was caught by guards who sat on him until police arrived.
Josie Sonessa, mitigating, said that Jackson had been doing well since being released from prison in December 2018 but had relapsed when he was evicted and had started living in a tent.
She said: “It’s a spate of offending and entirely related to substance misuse issues.
“While he’s been in custody he’s used that time to stabilise. He’s on a script that is reducing and he’s keen to remain doing that and to be drug-free.”
Judge Stephen Mooney thanked Jackson for a letter he had written and said: “It reinforces that you are clearly an intelligent and articulate man who has a number of difficulties, some not of your own making, some of your own making.
“I’m sentencing you for a very large number of offences committed between May and December and a number of different types of offending.
“The public do need to be protected from you and you have demonstrated an unwillingness to comply with any kind of court order.
“You’re going to have more time to reflect but I hope that everything you have demonstrated in the letter continues and in the future you can start to turn your life around.
“You’re a relatively young man. There’s time. And when you leave prison, you will have a clean slate.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.