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Nelson charity box thief spared jail
8:00pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
A SERIAL charity box thief who struck while subject to a suspended jail term, has been spared jail.
Calvin Banks, 27, was said to have been desperate for cash when he helped himself to boxes in which people had put donations for good causes, including the North West Air Ambulance, Guide Dogs for the Blind and The Salvation Army.
Burnley Crown Court was told how Banks took a collection box from Nelson Post Office on October 25, put it in his jacket pocket and left.
He was caught on CCTV counting out the coins, which totalled £15.20, and was identified by a police officer. The defendant also stole two charity boxes from a dry cleaning shop near his home and one from a newsagents. He made no comment when questioned by police.
Banks was subject to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, imposed last December, for assault causing actual bodily harm, at the time. The defendant, now of Rhoda Street, Nelson, had been part of a gang which beat up a man in his own home, after rampaging around the property.
Banks admitted damage and three counts of theft - two of them on bail on November 5 and 7 - and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates.
The defendant, who has four offences on his record, was given a last chance by a judge to see if he could sort his life out. Banks received a 12 month community order, with 12 months' supervision, 120 hours unpaid work and a 28-day curfew, between 10pm and 7am.
Kristian Cavanagh, for Banks, said he was ashamed of having committed the offences and appeared remorseful. The defendant had been desperate for money at the time and was in debt to a number of people.
Sentencing, Judge Andrew Woolman told the defendant: "I am going to give you a last chance, to see if you can sort your life out."
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