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Man accepted stolen mobile phone in payment for £10 of heroin
2:40pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in Local
A MAN who confessed he had taken a stolen mobile phone in payment for heroin he had supplied is to return to live with his parents in Studley, a judge has heard.
James Kesterton escaped being jailed after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to receiving stolen property and supplying heroin.
Kesterton, aged 30, who was living in Leamington at the time, was given a community sentence with 18 months supervision and was ordered to take part in a substance abuse programme.
Recorder Nicholas Dean QC also ordered him to comply with an electronically-tagged curfew at his parents’ home in Manse Gardens, Studley, from 9pm to 7am for three months.
Prosecutor Nigel Wilkins said that overnight on June 27 a house in Lillington Road, Leamington, was broken into while the owners were asleep upstairs.
When the police went to Kesterton’s home at the time in Briar Close, Leamington, a few days later, with a warrant to search for stolen property, they found a mobile phone which had been taken in the burglary.
Interviewed about the phone, he said he knew nothing about the burglary, but that a friend who was addicted to heroin had visited him and asked him for some.
Kesterton, who also had a heroin habit, said he agreed to take the phone in exchange for a £10 deal of heroin.
And he went on to admit that he had obtained another phone found at his home in the same way, hoping to then make a profit on the phones.
He also confessed to two further offences he had asked to be taken into consideration – receiving a Romanian bank note which had been taken in a burglary and fraud.
That had involved him trying to cash a forged cheque for someone else who had offered to split the proceeds with him if he had succeeded in cashing it.
Mr Wilkins said the police had also found £670 in cash at his home, which Kesterton protested from the dock was his parents’ money.
But after speaking to him Paul O’Keeffe, defending, said he did not oppose a confiscation order being made.
So Recorder Dean ruled that Kesterton’s benefit from his criminal activity had been £690, based on the cash found and the two £10 deals he admitted supplying, and order that the £670 be confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Mr O’Keeffe said that when released Kesterton, who had been in custody for three months, will return to live with his parents, who ‘are keen to keep him away from Leamington.’
Sentencing Kesterton, Recorder Dean told him: “Drug addiction is at the root of your problems, and you have been a persistent offender.
“Naively you admitted to the police you had received the phone, knowing it was stolen, in payment for a small quantity of drugs.
“Those who handle goods stolen in burglaries usually go to prison, and you couldn’t complain if you were sent to custody.”