Jail for Mansfield addict who stole handbag

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Mansfield man who stole a handbag from a parked car was tracked down via the owner’s mobile phone by her husband and later jailed, a court heard.

Jamie Wightman used a rock to smash the passenger window of a car, parked outside a school in Forest Town, and grabbed the handbag, at 3.45pm, on June 6.

When the owner, who was picking up her nine-year-old son, returned to discover the damage, she rang her husband who was able to locate her phone through a tracking app.

Her husband recovered the phone from Wightman, who told him the bag had been abandoned in a bin at Forest Town Park, and he later led police to it.

The court heard a bank card had been used to carry out a £28.48 transaction, at Forest Town News, and a driving licence was lost, which will cost £20 to renew.

The car window will cost £75 to replace, and magistrates heard the owner was “gutted and shocked” by what happened.

He was jailed for breaching a suspended sentence for shop theft, in February, and he was released on March 29.

Probation officer Sarah Alderton said Wightman was assessed as “a high risk of causing serious harm to members of the public.”

She said he hadn’t attended probation appointments after turning up on August 8 in a bad mood and swearing, shouting and demanding bus fare.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said just before the appointment, Wightman had been in hospital for a few days after injecting amphetamine into his groin.

“His frustration got the better of him,” Mr Perry said, adding that Wightman had led police to the handbag, which showed “a glimmer of humanity in him”.

He told magistrates that Wightman had detoxed from heroin since his release from prison, but had been devastated by the death of his father from a heart attack, caused by amphetamine use, a week before he stole the handbag.

“His father made 42 and Jamie is 21 and has a huge amphetamine addiction,” he said. “He was looking to improve things. When dad died it completely threw him.

“I don’t think a prison sentence will resolve anything. It is up to Mr Wightman to realise that he needs the help of the drugs service.”

Wightman, 21, of Quines Hill Road, Forest Town, admitted fraud and theft when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Course, on Wednesday.

Chair Enid Bloom said: “We have no option but to send you to prison because of your offending history, because of the fact you hadn’t been complying with the probation service, and because this was an innocent lady.”

He was jailed for a total of eight weeks, and was ordered to pay £123.48 compensation.