Homeless man gets second chance
A 20-YEAR-OLD homeless man has been given a second chance by magistrates after he admitted three counts of theft.
Dale Berry, of no fixed abode, appeared before North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday.
He pleaded guilty to stealing a Playstation worth £229 from Barnstaple Tesco Extra as well as possessing a pair of scissors on February 7.
He also pleaded guilty to attempting to steal a Playstation PSP worth £140, also from the Tesco store, on February 10 as well as stealing a bottle of Emporio Armani perfume worth £40 from Banburys in Barnstaple on February 21.
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Karen Ball, for the prosecution, said Berry had told police in interview that he had committed the thefts because he had nowhere to live and needed the money. He added that he needed the scissors for protection.
Debbie Bakehouse, for the defence, said Berry's mother had moved away to Yorkshire and Berry stayed in North Devon with his girlfriend but that relationship then ended, making him homeless.
She said: "He is trying to sort out a home and he has applied for benefits. He is trying to improve himself."
Having spoken to the probation team, magistrate Paul Cooper said: "We have looked into your personal circumstances and have decided to take the rare decision to defer sentencing for three months."
Mr Cooper said the magistrates had no other option without setting Berry up to fail. Berry will be sentenced on May 24.
Berry added: "I'm thankful of this chance to turn my life around."