Homeless drug user stole student’s laptop and purse in sneak raid

PUBLISHED: 12:42 21 January 2020

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Archant

A homeless drug user who stole a student’s laptop and purse in a sneak raid on her digs was caught on camera as he tried to use her bank card just minutes later.

Daniel Littlewood got into the shared house in Cowick Street, Exeter, through a back door and went into a communal area where he snatched the £250 computer and a bag.

He wiped his finger prints off the door handle before taking a wheeled suitcase from a storage cupboard to carry everything.

He went straight to a cashpoint at the St Thomas shopping centre where he made three attempts to withdraw money with the stolen card and was caught on CCTV with the suitcase by his side.

Littlewood also went on a £300 shopping spree with another bank card stolen by someone else during a burglary on the home of an Exeter University academic.

He and a homeless friend took turns to use the card in contactless transaction in a series of shops around Exeter.

Littlewood, aged 41, formerly of St Andrews Road, Exmouth, but now homeless, admitted burglary, handling, four frauds, and personal possession of heroin and cannabis.

He was jailed for 18 months, suspended for 18 months and ordered to undertake drug rehabilitation and pay £140 compensation by Judge Timothy Rose at Exeter Crown Court.

The judge told Littlewood: "You went back to your old habits and ways and all the issues of drugs and the offending you needed to support your drugs lifestyle.

"You committed a number of serious offences. The burglary was in a communal area but was still a burglary and it is clear from the victim personal statement that it meant a huge amount to her."

Brian Fitzherbert, for Littlewood, said he was homeless and using drugs at the time but has addressed his addiction over six months while remanded in custody and is now keen to work with the addiction service.

He has an appointment to see them as soon as he is released and hopes to be found accommodation by the council either in bed and breakfast or at the Safe Sleep hostel.


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