Repeat thief from Sacriston runs out of chances

A JUDGE has finally run out of patience with a repeat low-level thief and sneak burglar.

Russell Emerson Dixon received a 32-week sentence in a young offenders’ institution, which was suspended for 18 months, in August, providing he complied with a probation supervision programme.

The sentence was passed after he stole bottles of lager from the garage of a house in Millbank Court, Durham, on July 23.

A judge at Durham Crown Court said he was taking “an exceptional course” in a bid to address Dixon’s alcohol addiction.

He was back before the court, however, in October, having breached the order by stealing a bottle of vodka-based drink, from a bargain store in Durham, on September 23.

Judge Christopher Prince offered him a last chance by deferring sentence, to allow the probation programme to continue to try to tackle his drink problem.

But Dixon appeared in the dock before Judge Prince again yesterday (Wednesday December 19) for further breaches of the order.

Chris Williamson, prosecuting, said Dixon stole foodstuffs worth £2.29 from Newton Hall Co-op, plus three bottles of cider, valued at £3.79, from Tesco, in the Market Place, Durham, as well as resisting a police officer and twice failing to surrender to bail, all during October and November.

The 20-year-old, of Lavender Gardens, Sacriston, between Durham and Chester-le-Street, admitted the breaches.

Stuart Graham, mitigating, told the court: “It’s something of a tragedy that, at his still young age, he is unable to comply and take the chance offered by your honour.

“He does feel bad about that. These are minor thefts from shops.

“He has just not been able to hack the programme.

“But, his family remains supportive and are here in court.

“They will tell you he’s a decent young man until he has a drink and then he goes into a shop or garage and steals things.

“He plans to seek help for mental health difficulties to ensure a change of behaviour when he finishes his sentence.”

Judge Prince told Dixon: “You were given a chance when a suspended sentence was passed in August, then I deferred sentence in October.

“You have wasted that chance and demonstrated complete unwillingness to comply.

“You have now run out of chances.”

Judge Prince activated the full 32-week sentence imposed in August, less 23 days Dixon has served in custody.

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