Judge tells ‘sponging’ Blackburn student to 'get a job'

A THIEVING student has been told to stop ‘sponging off the state’ and ‘get a job’ by one of the country’s most senior judges.

Lord Justice Thomas made the comments during an appeal by 19-year-old Nathan Peter David Levis, who claimed he could not afford to repay £2,000 he stole from his father’s girlfriend.

Levis, of Scotland Bank Terrace, Blackburn, was given a 14-month suspended sentence at Preston Crown Court in June after he admitted theft — and was ordered to repay the full amount.

But lawyers for the catering student came to London’s Court of Appeal, arguing he was so hard up he simply could not afford to cover the bill.

Lord Justice Thomas, sitting with two other senior judges, agreed to reduce the total amount of compensation — but went on to triple the speed at which Levis must repay his victim.

The judge told the court the ‘thoroughly despicable’ theft took place when Levis visited his father’s home last Christmas.

While there, he took £2,000 cash belonging to his father’s girlfriend, Serena Tierney.

Philip Holden, for Levis, said he could not remember what he had spent the money on — but some of it had gone on drink.

He argued Levis should not be forced to repay the full amount as he was turning his life around by taking a catering course and that, by ordering him to pay, the court was ‘setting him up for a fall’.

Lord Justice Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Silber and Mrs Justice Sharp, agreed to cut Levis’s bill to £1,800 — but increased the ‘derisory’ £5-a-week rate at which it is currently being repaid to £15-a-week.

He told the court: “It seems to us that he has to face up to the responsibilities that he has, by his criminal conduct, incurred.

"There is no reason why he should not repay a substantial part of the amount that he took.

"We are prepared to reduce to £1,800 the amount, to be repaid £15 per week.

If this means that he has to get a job while studying, then he will have to do that.

"He cannot simply sponge it off the state, nor can he rely on the fact that his accommodation costs £400 per month.

"He has to find cheaper accommodation.”

Comments (15)

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4:16pm Wed 22 Dec 10

DoyouknowhoIam? says...

I know of this person, he's had an appalling life, and no, I'm do gooder either so I'm not excusing his behaviour. But..

He is a product of the Blackburn with Darwen Care system. Care? What a disgrace that is, if a young person in care commits a criminal offence, unless it's VERY serious, they are let off time and time again. With Children's Services twisting the magistrates arms as tightly as possible.

No wonder they continually reoffend upon leaving care, they think they're exempt from justice.

Being set up to fail is the well worn phrase used in the service. Of course it's not used by Senior Management though, they're far too busy trying to get an extra star for their ratings.

He's one of 2 offenders that are in this paper tonight that came through the care system on the "we'll let you off basis"

The sooner Children's Services are put out to tender and the private sector, the better, both for the Council Tax payer and more importantly. the young persons.
I know of this person, he's had an appalling life, and no, I'm do gooder either so I'm not excusing his behaviour. But.. He is a product of the Blackburn with Darwen Care system. Care? What a disgrace that is, if a young person in care commits a criminal offence, unless it's VERY serious, they are let off time and time again. With Children's Services twisting the magistrates arms as tightly as possible. No wonder they continually reoffend upon leaving care, they think they're exempt from justice. Being set up to fail is the well worn phrase used in the service. Of course it's not used by Senior Management though, they're far too busy trying to get an extra star for their ratings. He's one of 2 offenders that are in this paper tonight that came through the care system on the "we'll let you off basis" The sooner Children's Services are put out to tender and the private sector, the better, both for the Council Tax payer and more importantly. the young persons. DoyouknowhoIam?

4:32pm Wed 22 Dec 10

St.R says...

Well done Lord Justice Thomas, I wish there were more like you!
Well done Lord Justice Thomas, I wish there were more like you! St.R

4:34pm Wed 22 Dec 10

dont blame me i voted ukip says...

At least now Levis is open to thousands in compensation due to the "distress, harassment and anxiety" caused to him by being told to get a job, and the disgraceful abuse of his "human rights" by this judge.
At least now Levis is open to thousands in compensation due to the "distress, harassment and anxiety" caused to him by being told to get a job, and the disgraceful abuse of his "human rights" by this judge. dont blame me i voted ukip

4:42pm Wed 22 Dec 10

Lancs - pensioner says...

A THIEVING student has been told to stop ‘sponging off the state’ and ‘get a job’ by one of the countries most senior judges.

Stealing is wrong, but he is an easy target for these "Senior Judges" now let’s see, what did these same judges do with an illegal immigrant who killed a young girl whilst driving un-insured and left her to die at the road side and the said person had also committed Burglary, Hhhmmmm 4 months I believe, and oh yes he is now aloud to “Sponge” of the state with his made up family, nice on your honours.
A THIEVING student has been told to stop ‘sponging off the state’ and ‘get a job’ by one of the countries most senior judges. Stealing is wrong, but he is an easy target for these "Senior Judges" now let’s see, what did these same judges do with an illegal immigrant who killed a young girl whilst driving un-insured and left her to die at the road side and the said person had also committed Burglary, Hhhmmmm 4 months I believe, and oh yes he is now aloud to “Sponge” of the state with his made up family, nice on your honours. Lancs - pensioner

4:56pm Wed 22 Dec 10

happycyclist says...

At last -a judge who understands that people are sick of lenient sentencing.

But why reduce the £2,000 he stole to £1,800? Why should Serena Tierney lose out to the tune of £200? What did she do to deserve an appeal decision like that?
At last -a judge who understands that people are sick of lenient sentencing. But why reduce the £2,000 he stole to £1,800? Why should Serena Tierney lose out to the tune of £200? What did she do to deserve an appeal decision like that? happycyclist

6:01pm Wed 22 Dec 10

Walter Norval says...

Bit if hes a student why does he need to get a job? If the judges and Magistrates took the same line in Burnley they would be delivering these speeches all day;-)
Bit if hes a student why does he need to get a job? If the judges and Magistrates took the same line in Burnley they would be delivering these speeches all day;-) Walter Norval

7:45pm Wed 22 Dec 10

anotherview says...

Well said Lancs pensioner, I wonder sometimes, where half of these "judgements" come from. Certainly not of this planet. I know that these Judges have to interpret the laws that our MPs, or Euro MPs have passed, but sometimes they seem to lack a sense of what the electorate would want from thier judgements.
Well said Lancs pensioner, I wonder sometimes, where half of these "judgements" come from. Certainly not of this planet. I know that these Judges have to interpret the laws that our MPs, or Euro MPs have passed, but sometimes they seem to lack a sense of what the electorate would want from thier judgements. anotherview

5:44am Thu 23 Dec 10

Joe Smith says...

I don't supose he payed for the appeal
or was it out of the taxpayers pocket l should think it was, and no dought his legal team of leaches got a nice fat fee from the taxpayers has well, turned his life round my a@s he his scrounging more
money by taking a course in catering. or his he paying for that.
I don't supose he payed for the appeal or was it out of the taxpayers pocket l should think it was, and no dought his legal team of leaches got a nice fat fee from the taxpayers has well, turned his life round my a@s he his scrounging more money by taking a course in catering. or his he paying for that. Joe Smith

7:13am Thu 23 Dec 10

JustSomeBum says...

These theives need a good kick up the backside he should have to pay the full amount back otherwise he will think well I made £200 there I might aswell do it again, and before you know it he will be conning his way into old peoples homes and snatching purses in blackburn town centre.
These theives need a good kick up the backside he should have to pay the full amount back otherwise he will think well I made £200 there I might aswell do it again, and before you know it he will be conning his way into old peoples homes and snatching purses in blackburn town centre. JustSomeBum

8:18am Thu 23 Dec 10

mys says...

Yes make him pay it back,but why do people use CARE as an excuse for his behaviour,once a thief always a thief,upbringing plays the most important part in a childs life,this guy may not have had the best but you dont go out stealing of others,ask for the judge,well it says it all,let a murdering foreign b-----d stay in our country to sponge and also murder again,cos no doubt he will do,he need striking off.
Yes make him pay it back,but why do people use CARE as an excuse for his behaviour,once a thief always a thief,upbringing plays the most important part in a childs life,this guy may not have had the best but you dont go out stealing of others,ask for the judge,well it says it all,let a murdering foreign b-----d stay in our country to sponge and also murder again,cos no doubt he will do,he need striking off. mys

2:42pm Thu 23 Dec 10

gazdula says...

Go on then.... how's he going to get a job if he's got a criminal record?
Go on then.... how's he going to get a job if he's got a criminal record? gazdula

2:43pm Thu 23 Dec 10

gazdula says...

Go on then.... how's he going to get a job if he's got a criminal record?
Go on then.... how's he going to get a job if he's got a criminal record? gazdula

7:19pm Thu 23 Dec 10

annefromlancs says...

If he is a full time student, I presume he will be claiming Housing Benefit to cover his £400 accommodation bill, i.e. paid for by the tax payer, so why was this taken into account at all?
If he is a full time student, I presume he will be claiming Housing Benefit to cover his £400 accommodation bill, i.e. paid for by the tax payer, so why was this taken into account at all? annefromlancs

7:37pm Thu 23 Dec 10

geester67 says...

students get 10% discount everywere and this tea leaf still goes on the rob...lol
students get 10% discount everywere and this tea leaf still goes on the rob...lol geester67

9:27pm Sat 25 Dec 10

RAyzer says...

now tell rest of blackburn to do same..unemployment capital of northwest,whats happened to that place??
now tell rest of blackburn to do same..unemployment capital of northwest,whats happened to that place?? RAyzer

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