Dad stole presents from son aged 11
5:30am Friday 15th August 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
MICHAEL Thomas stole presents from his 11-year-old son and gambled and drank away the profits after selling his TV and X-Box at Cash Generator.
Thomas, 42, of Thames Avenue, raided his former partner’s house last month after their relationship ended, stealing cash, jewellery and computers before selling them in the second-hand goods store and to friends.
Looking to raise a deposit for new accommodation, Thomas gambled away the money made before drinking the rest away “in desperation,” Swindon Magis-trates Court heard.
Thomas had been left in the family home on July 25 to remove his belongings, and later that day sent his ex a text telling her she would have a surprise when she got home.
Keith Bellinger, prosecuting, told the court: “They had been in a relationship for 13 years, and in June the relationship ended.
“They have a child together who is 11, and agreed to keep things amicable for the sake of the child.
“Mr Thomas stayed at the address until the end of July, and she said that on Friday 25 he was due to move out, so she stayed away from the house for him to move his property.
“She met up with him when he handed her back his keys to the property.
“Later that evening she received a text from his saying that when she returned to the house she would have a surprise.
“When she returned she found a number of items had been stolen, including £180 in cash, two laptops, two mobile phones, an X-Box, and a 40-inch TV.
“Her grandmother’s jewellery was also missing, and although she did not know the value it holds great sentimental value to her.
“She says she text him back to ask him if he had taken the property.
“In those text messages he admits it was him and he had sold the electrical items on finance.
“At 12.45pm that day the defendant had taken the TV and the X-Box to a Cash Generator store where he sold them on buy-back.
He was later arrested and maked a significant statement saying the items were at the shop and he would be able to buy them back.
“He said in a moment of madness while moving out he stole the items and sold them.
“He also admits stealing the jewellery but says it had probably fallen out of his bag.
“With the cash he spent through the day gambling and drinking. He took some of the money to gamble to pay for a deposit.
“Inevitably he lost it and drank the rest away in desperation.
“She was upset by what he has done. A lot of the items he took had been bought for their son.”
Thomas admitted theft.
The court also heard Thomas owes more than £2,000 in TV licensing fines dating back to 2006.
Mark Glendenning, defending, said: “This is an offence committed within a domestic environment. Most of the fines are for using a TV without a licence.
“His benefits have changed repeatedly and there are issues as to what can be deducted from those benefits.
“He is currently on income support and incapacity benefits.”
Sentencing was adjourned until September 5 for a pre-sentence report.
The chair of the bench, said: “Your bail is not to go to Westwood Road in Penhill under any circumstances.
“Mr Thomas also owes the court £2,172.82, fines outstanding since 2006. The last payment was £5 and that stopped on 31 May 2013.
“The court is not going to look favourably on a man who gambles money away while he still owes a substantial sum.”