A drug addict who committed a series of crimes across Derby, including breaking into cars and having a sword in public, has been spared an immediate prison sentence.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how during one of his offences Robert Watson was caught with tools such as pliers, a wrench and a screwdriver which he used to get into the vehicles.
On another he actually stole one of the cars he broke into.
And all of the crimes were committed to fund his addiction to class A drugs.
Handing Watson a 36-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, magistrates told the 34-year-old: “These were planned and repeated thefts from a range of motor vehicles and in one case you took a vehicle and stole it from outside the home.
“You were caught going equipped and this shows significant planning.
“There were numerous offences and all of this was done to fund your drug habit.
“But we have listened to your solicitor and the probation service and we have decided we are going to suspend your prison sentence.
“This is to allow you to get some help from probation and we do acknowledge you need help and assistance.
“The bottom line is you are very lucky not to be going straight to prison.
“We have given you an opportunity and it is an opportunity you need to take.”
Neil Hollett, prosecuting, said the first offence saw the defendant, of Green Lane, Derby, break into a car in Wheeldon Avenue, off Kedleston Road, on July 22 and steal a sat-nav, a pair of sunglasses and some loose change.
He said two days later Watson forced open a vehicle in Foremark Avenue, in Littleover and took a driving licence from inside it.
On July 26, he stole a Ford Focus he had broken into in Kings Drive, next to the Royal Derby Hospital and also took a set of spare keys and a pair of Ray-ban sunglasses.
Mr Hollett said on July 28, the defendant was in Young Street, Normanton, and was found to have on him a sword, wire snippers, pliers, a wrench, keys, a torch and a screwdriver.
Watson pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking, four counts of theft from a motor vehicle, going equipped for theft and possessing a knife in public.
As part of the suspended sentence he must undertake 20 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.
Magistrates also ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the person whose Ford Focus he stole and a £156 victim surcharge.