Judge gives prolific burglar a chance to get off drugs

PUBLISHED: 13:10 19 October 2011


A BURGLAR has been given a chance to get off drugs, after admitting scores of offences.

"This is no soft option. You must commit 100 per cent. You owe it to your partner and your child to turn it around."

Judge Andrew Bright QC

Nicholas Tate was arrested after a stolen Ford Fiesta crashed at Codicote following a raid on the Co-op in Knebworth.

The 23-year-old was in the front seat of the car which ended up on its side in hedge in the early hours of the morning.

Prosecutor Isabel Delamere told St Albans Crown Court last Tuesday that Tate was involved in a break-in at a house in Woods Avenue, Hatfield, on March 30 this year.

The keys to a black Ford Fiesta were taken and the car was driven off.

The next day Tate was one of three people who raided the Co-op in Shoplands, WGC, when £8,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen.

Then on April 4 the front shutters were forced open at the Co-op in London Road in Knebworth and nearly £3,000 worth of cigarettes taken.

The police had been called and the car tracked to Codicote, where it crashed. Tate was arrested at the scene. When questioned he made no comment, except to say he was sorry for what happened, said Ms Delamere.

Tate, formerly of Birdcroft Road, WGC, pleaded guilty to burglary, two counts of commercial burglary and allowing himself to be carried in aggravated car taking.

He asked for 73 other offences to be taken into consideration.

The court heard how he had previous convictions – in October 2007 he received 35 months after being convicted of burglary.

Defence barrister Andrew Kerry asked for Tate, who has a child, to be bailed so he could be assessed for the Choices and Consequences Programme – known as C2.

The programme is aimed at multiple offenders, many of them addicts.

Judge Andrew Bright QC bailed Tate for an assessment for the programme.

He must live at his partner’s parents’ address in Dellsome Lane, Welham Green, abide by a curfew between 7pm and 7am and attend appointments with probation.

Judge Bright told defence barrister Mr Kerry that he was going to give Tate the chance to come off drugs by bailing him for four weeks for an assessment by the people who run the C2 project.

The judge told Tate it was an opportunity for him to turn his life around and get off drugs. He said the programme would include an education, training and employment programme and there would be tests for “substance misuse”.

“This is no soft option,” he said. “You must commit 100 per cent to the rigorous requirements it puts on you.

“You are lucky to have the support of your partner and her parents. You owe it to your partner and your child to turn it around.”

In reply, Tate said “thank you” to the judge.

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