Following a series of thefts, a man from Exmouth was handed a suspended prison sentence. He also admitted to possession of a knife. The sentence was handed down to 34-year-old Martyn Dance by the Exeter Magistrates Court.
Dance’s series of crimes started on 9th of May at Boots located in Exmouth. According to the store detective who was monitoring the CCTV, Dance picked up two bottles of TED Baker perfume and made no attempt to pay for them. He was arrested outside the store and he admitted to stealing the perfume.
However, just one day later, CCTV operatives saw Dance removing lights from parked bikes using tools. As Dance was being searched by officers, he apparently ran, dropping two lights in the process. The officers gave chase and managed to capture him. In his bag, the police found a Stanley knife, a screwdriver and pliers. On 12th June, Dance was out on bail for the offences committed earlier when he set off the alarms at the door when he attempted to walk out of an Exeter Tesco store. The staff at the store found two Blu-ray discs in his trousers. The discs had been wrapped in foil.
Speaking for the defendant, Jerry Wickham, his lawyer, explained to the court that Dance had a while back been a regular offender but since 2010 he hadn’t committed any crime and during that time he had gotten married and also had children. In February this year, however, Dance became addicted to drugs while visiting Amsterdam with his brother and he was now spending up to £100 on heroin every day. His brother has also died in the time since and Wickham pointed out that Dance had become extremely troubled by his brother’s death since they were very close.
The magistrates gave Dance a 26-week sentence, suspended for 12 months on the charge of possessing a knife in public. He was given a concurrent 12 suspended 12-week imprisonment sentence for the three thefts and the charge of being equipped for theft. He will be required to undergo drug rehab for a 12 month period will also have to pay £115 as victim surcharge. He was also told that the knife was to be forfeited and later destroyed.