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Jobless teenager with £50 a day cannabis habit escapes jail after Tuffley burglary

By EchoLauraC  |  Posted: February 04, 2014

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Gloucester Crown Court

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A jobless teenager with a £50 a day cannabis habit has escaped jail after breaking into a home, while the occupants slept.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Karl Charles left Patricia Gaulder frightened in her own home and unable to sleep at night following the break-in.

The 19-year-old admitted the burglary of her Nutley Avenue home in Tuffley after he was found in possession of some of her belongings just 45 minutes after the crime.

Prosecutor Nick O’Brien said Mrs Gaulder and her husband woke at 2.10am on Monday, January 20 to realise a light in the front room was switched on.

He said: “She got up, looked around and found all her kitchen cupboards were open.

“The defendant got in through the back door, which was open.”

The prosecutor said £210 in cash from a purse, a mobile phone, an iPad mini, a man’s wallet and cash, two handbags, a laptop computer and a silver camera were taken.

He added: “45 minutes later he was stopped nearby with two other people and they said they had come from a friend’s house.

“He had £365 of cash on him.”

The court was told all the items were recovered following a search of the friend’s home, as well as Charles’ Tuffley Lane house.

On arrest officer found a small wrap of cannabis, Charles had left in the police car.

He pleaded guilty to the burglary and possession of cannabis.

Defending Matthew Harbinson said although there had been dispute over the amount of cash stolen and other items, his client insisted everything taken that night was recovered.

He said: “The defendant gives a full account in interview as to his motivation.

“He explained he was smoking £50 of cannabis each and every day, which is a phenomenal amount for anybody to smoke.

“He has been smoking for five years, but in the past 12 to 18 months it was beginning to control him and influence his behaviour.”

Mr Harbinson said Charles was living with his parents rent and bill free and paying for the drugs through state benefits.

But when his job seekers allowance was stopped last year because he failed to attend the job centre he relied on his parents and theft to fund the habit.

Mr Harbinson said: “He is clearly a young man who is completely lacking in focus.

“He is somebody that is vulnerable and he has been subject to bullying and intimidating behaviour while in custody.

“He expresses his remorse and although he has been in custody for a very short time, it has been a very stressful experience for him.”

Judge Alastair McGrigor, assistant judge advocate-general, said Charles could have no complaint if he sentenced him to jail, but spared him prison.

He told him: “Be under no illusions, this is your last chance to stay out of prison. If you repeat this behaviour, this is where you will end up.”

Charles was sentenced to an 18 month community order with supervision, ordered to undergo a three month drug rehabilitation requirement and pay a £60 victim surcharge.

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6 comments

  • bonzaharris1  |  February 05 2014, 2:49PM

    Gloucester Crown Court heard Karl Charles left Patricia Gaulder frightened in her own home and unable to sleep at night following the break-in. Fantastic this waste of space is sentenced to an 18 month community order with supervision, and ordered to undergo a three month drug rehabilitation. Something he will no doubt not turn up for as he couldn't even be bothered to turn up at the job centre to qualify for his drug fund money, and he is now free to carry on with his life of crime. Patricia Gaulder, the victim in all this, has effectively been sentenced to a life time of insomnia thanks to the scumbag that is Karl Charles. Considering he is living with his parents buckshee, I don't suppose it will be long before Charles who is "completely lacking in focus" is breaking into houses and ruining more lives to fund his habit, as he has no income now his jobseekers has been stopped. When he finally goes to prison, no matter how stressful the poor little lamb may find it, it will be nothing compared to what his victims will have to endure, by not feeling safe in their own homes, which is your most basic of rights.

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  • Douglasknows  |  February 05 2014, 11:19AM

    I bet the Judge would have jailed this toe rag if it was his own property that was burgled!

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  • johhnybad  |  February 05 2014, 10:38AM

    If you people really believe that his addiction to cannabis id the reason he committed this burglary than you are so far attached from what is really going on in society. He would have used this as a reason to justify his disgraceful crime. I have no doubt he probably smokes weed, but i highly doubt he has a £50 a day habit. I do not smoke weed myself but i have been around people who smoke it for a long time. I have seen the damage long term weed can do to some body, but i think it far outweighs the long term affect of alchol abuse.

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  • CVFHQ  |  February 05 2014, 1:52AM

    Cannabis prohibition simply isn't working. The smartest policy our government could implement in regards to cannabis is one of legal regulation. Under a legalised scheme, thousands of taxable jobs would be created, giving our economy a much needed boost. It is time to stop arresting adults who choose to consume a product proven to be safer than both alcohol and tobacco. Cannabis Volunteer Force (CVF) CVF Media Team cvf420.com

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  • cortezcortez  |  February 04 2014, 9:57PM

    SCUM chop is bloody hands off

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  • GlosAnarchy  |  February 04 2014, 8:44PM

    And they say that cannabis doesn't cause crime, £50 per day, £350 per week and £18,250 per year. He was unemployed so the benefits for a 19 year old are way more than I thought or he's been committing crime for a lot longer and caused untold suffering to the local community!

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