One last chance for thief who has 180 convictions

Cross-county thief facing six and a half years in jail

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A DRUG addict who has broken the law 180 times has been given one last chance to go straight.  

Adam Libby has been ordered to get help for his addiction after he admitted stealing a man’s cheque book and trying to use it in a shop.

Sentencing him at Portsmouth Crown Court, Judge Ian Pearson said that if he did not take his chance he would end up in jail.

The 36-year-old stole a cheque book and bank card from a man he knew, Simon Candy. 

Libby had gone to Mr Candy’s flat but when he found himself alone in the flat, Libby stole from him.

The thief then went to B&Q at the Pompey Centre in Fratton Way and used the stolen items to try to buy a gas fire in May last year. 

Police were called to the shop and Libby told them: ‘I don’t know whose cheque book it is, I just found it.’

He was arrested and in his police interview said he had no memory of the days leading up to the theft.

The court heard that 71 of Libby’s 180 previous offences were for theft. He has also been convicted of 17 fraud offences.

Ruth Ball, defending, said Libby was determined to stop taking drugs.

‘His current circumstances are such that really he is better equipped to succeed,’ she said. ‘He has been demonstrating a high level of motivation to be drug-free for some time.’

Miss Ball said Libby was living with his father who was supporting him.

Libby, of Locksway Road, Southsea, pleaded guilty to theft and fraud. 

Judge Ian Pearson said: ‘You are a man with numerous previous convictions, mainly for dishonesty, and you have served numerous prison sentences. 

‘Perhaps it is worth taking a chance on you by imposing a suspended sentence of imprisonment linked to supervision and a drug rehabilitation requirement.

‘I hope that’s right. If you do not change and you breach the terms of the order, there is only one sentence you can expect and that’s an immediate custodial sentence.’

The judge gave Libby a 26-week prison sentence suspended for two years. 

He will have 12 months of drug rehabilitation and supervision from the probation service. 

Judge Pearson said: ‘Your future is in your hands. I hope you take the chance that is being offered.’