Bridport: Coffee shop raider who stole £1.6k from safe jailed for year (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Bridport: Coffee shop raider who stole £1.6k from safe jailed for year
A FORMER employee who broke into a Bridport coffee shop and raided the safe has been jailed for a year.
Kameron Willis Heighton, of Folly Mill Lane, Bridport, appeared at Dorchester Crown Court to be sentenced for four offences included the burglary of the town’s Costa Coffee outlet on February 18.
The 20-year-old had also admitted offences of criminal damage, possessing cannabis and possessing a bladed article.
Prosecutor Eileen Sproson told the court that on February 4 the defendant, who had previously worked at Costa, damaged the rear fire door of the coffee shop but did not gain entry.
On February 18 staff arrived at 7am to open up the store and found windows at the back of the premises had been smashed and £1,600 had been stolen from the safe.
Ms Sproson said Heighton had telephoned Costa employee Emily Ryan the previous day to ask for the safe key, which she refused to give him, and warned the shop might be broken in to.
The defendant made full admissions to the offence when being interviewed by police and told them he had done it to pay off a drug debt.
While Heighton was on bail for those two offences he was stopped by police in the Mountfield Garden area of Bridport after they had seen him rolling a cigarette and dropping a green herbal substance into it.
The cannabis joint was later recovered by police and they also found the defendant to have in his possession a small silver lock knife, which he claimed he used for self harming.
In mitigation, Lee Christmas said his client had a history of mental illness and the burglary had been motivated by a need to pay off debts he had accrued as a result of his drug addiction.
He said: “This is the sort of sad case where a young man through a drug addiction incurs a debt and then goes on to commit the burglary to pay for those debts.”
Judge Roger Jarvis sentenced Heighton to a total of 12 months in prison for the four offences.
He told the defendant: “This is another example of how drugs can ruin people’s lives and it has had a profound effect on your life even at your young age.”
Inspector Mike Darby, of Bridport police, said: “We are pleased with the sentence.
“With the increase in commercial burglaries in the town over the last few months, this serves as a good warning to offenders that the police and courts take these offences very seriously and will do everything in our powers to arrest and prosecute people committing these acts.”
STAFF at Costa in West Street remembered Heighton as a pleasant employee and said it was a shame.
One member of staff said: “He was a nice lad and would do anything for anybody. It is really sad that this has happened and a real shame that his life went down this path.
“It is a sad state to have got himself into.”