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Man was 'decoy' in Blackburn charity box theft
11:00am Saturday 5th October 2013 in News
A MAN who acted as a decoy while a woman stole a charity box was involved in a ‘wicked’ offence, a judge said.
Edward Kelly was convicted by a jury of the theft of a Blackburn hospice charity box from the Lock Mill Service Station on Bolton Road in the town.
He was given a suspended jail term by a judge who told him at Preston Crown Court yesterday: “You should be ashamed at the way you acted.”
Kelly, 55, of St Peter’s Street, Blackburn, had denied the theft but was found guilty after trial. He was cleared of a separate charge.
The offence dated back to November 19 last year. The court had heard how Kelly went to the left side of the petrol station counter while the woman was at the right.
He told police it would be a shameful thing to steal a charity box.
He said: “There’s one thing we don’t do and that is steal from charities.”
Julian Goode, defending, suggested the court could avoid sending him to jail.
He said: “He is seeking to resolve a long-standing addiction to heroin. He has had a 25-year dependency on the drug.
“He is on a methadone prescription and hopes to be completely off that by Christmas.”
The judge, Recorder Philip Grundy, said Kelly had an appalling criminal record from the age of 14 upwards.
He said: “You acted as a decoy for a woman when she stole the charity box.
“That is a wicked offence and one for which I believe you are deeply ashamed. You should be ashamed.”
He was given four months prison, suspended for two years, with two years supervision and 12 months drug rehabilitation.
The case against the second defendant - Louise Henwood, of Moorgate Street, Blackburn - was adjourned to be dealt with at a later date after a sick note was sent in on her behalf.