Failed Brierley Hill undie thief jailed

11:43am Friday 5th November 2010

A BRIERLEY Hill man who admitted breaching an ASBO after attempting to steal ladies underwear has been jailed.

Thomas Newton was caged for 18 months after Wolverhampton Crown Court was told he tried to break into the home of a "frightened" woman he had previously targeted.

Newton, who has a history of stealing ladies underwear from washing lines, was made the subject of an anti-social behaviour order after a previous incident at the same house.

Judge Nicholas Webb told the 25-year-old: "You attempted to burgle the house of a lady that you trespassed in just over a year ago. The motive on both occasions was to take underwear belonging to her."

He said it was clear Newton, a fork lift truck driver, needed help for his problems but stressed: "This lady needs protection. She is now frightened to be in her own, she has difficulties sleeping and what you did has affected her life."

The judge said there was clearly a "sexual element" to Newton's activities and it was the duty of the court to protect members of the public from men who went out to steal ladies underwear.

Newton, of William Street, admitted attempted burglary and breaching the ASBO, the judge ruled there was no alternative but to impose an immediate custodial sentence.

The court was told Newton had a string of previous convictions for stealing underwear from washing lines - offences committed in the Gloucester, Bristol and Black Country areas.

Simon Rippon, prosecuting, told the hearing Newton got into the garden of the woman's home and tried to smash his way in through a rear window.

He also tried to force a door after spotting her laundry on a sofa which was visible from the window but he was seen by a neighbour.

Mr Rippon said the neighbour was able to identify Newton from a tattoo on his back that carried his name and he was quickly arrested.

Gurdeep Garcha, for Newton, said his client has been responding well to the Sexual Offenders Programme he had been ordered to attend after his last conviction but it was accepted he had "deep seated problems."

Mr Garcha added: "He is now focused and motivated to put his life in order, he recognises there is a problem and he is desperate to do something about it.

“He knows this behaviour has to come to an end."

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