Exmouth man gets suspended sentence for spate of offences

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 June 2017

Exeter Magistrates Court

Exeter Magistrates Court

Archant

An Exmouth man has been given a suspended prison sentence for a series of thefts and possession of a knife.

Martyn Dance, 34, was sentenced, having previously admitted the offences, at Exeter Magistrates Court.

The spate of crimes committed by Dance, whose address was given as Broadpark Road, but who the court heard is currently homeless, began on May 9 at Boots in Exmouth.

The court heard the store detective, monitoring CCTV, saw Dance select two bottles of Ted Baker perfume and move to the front of the store without attempting to pay.

He was stopped outside, arrested, and admitted the thefts.

The court then heard that the following evening, May 10, Dance was seen by CCTV operatives in Exeter apparently using tools to remove lights from parked bikes.

During a search Mr Dance ran from officers, dropping two lights as he ran, but was pursued and caught.

Police found in his bag pliers, a screwdriver and a Stanley knife.

Finally, on June 12, while on bail for the earlier offences, Dance set off the door alarm while leaving a Tesco store in Exeter, and was found by staff to have two Blu-ray discs wrapped in foil down the front of his trousers.

Mitigating, Dance’s lawyer Jeremy Wickham told the court that having previously been a regular offender, Dance had stayed out of trouble since 2010, in which time he married and had children.

However, in February this year Dance and his brother visited Amsterdam, and developed drug habits.

His brother has since died, and Mr Wickham said Dance is now taking 1.5 grams of heroin daily, which the court heard cost him £75 to £100 per day.

Mr Wickham said: “He has been deeply upset by the death of his brother. They were close.”

For possessing a knife in a public place, magistrates sentenced Dance to 26 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

For three charges of theft, and a charge of being equipped for theft, Dance was given a suspended sentence of 12 weeks imprisonment, to run concurrently.

He was also given a 12 month drug rehabilitation requirement, and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife.

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