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Charity box thief stays out of prison

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

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A LOSTWITHIEL man who burgled the house of a pensioner and stole money from charity boxes has escaped jail "by the skin of his teeth" after a judge granted him one last chance.

James Duguid, previously of Castle View, Lostwithiel, pleaded guilty to having burgled the home of a 70-year-old woman in Mill Hill, Lostwithiel, taking her £375 laptop and seven silver items.

The 20-year-old also admitted the theft of a purse containing £150 from an assistant's handbag in a local shop and stealing money from six charity boxes.

It emerged that Duguid – who was said to have been targeting elderly and vulnerable women – had three previous convictions and was in breach of a community order.

Judge David Ticehurst warned Duguid about his future behaviour and said: "You have escaped prison by the skin of your teeth."

Ramsay Quaife, for the defence, stated that Duguid had difficulty controlling his temper and consumption of alcohol and cannabis and that there was concern about his attitude.

"I am going to give you a chance but if you do not take it you will be brought before me in Bristol Crown Court and you will be sent to prison," added Judge Ticehurst.

The judge then asked Duguid whether he still smoked, to which Duguid replied that he bought £4 to £5 worth of tobacco each week. Judge Ticehurst declared: "In that case you can pay £5 a week compensation to the ladies from whom you stole a laptop and a purse."

Duguid's parents were in court to support him but they were not prepared to have him live at home until he had changed his habits.

Duguid, currently living with friends in Liskeard, was given a 12-month sentence in a young offenders' institution, suspended for two years, with supervision throughout.

He was ordered to do 300 hours of unpaid work – the maximum permitted – and to attend six sessions of an education and training programme.

He must also pay £525 in compensation at £5 a week "or more quickly if you get a job".

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13 comments

  • OscarDelta  |  January 31 2013, 10:23PM

    James is a bad egg. He has been massively corrupted by another bad egg in town by the name of Ware and has decided for himself on that path of life. His parents and the rest of his family are good people but he is very troubled. The town gasped when it was heard that he was let off yet again, but he is a charmer and clearly charmed the judge. He has personally cost me several thousands of pounds in mindless vandalism and wonton damage but the system will not recognise that, but he really needs a lesson taught. Its a shame but every once in a while it needs to be recognised that a bad one is born! I think that is all that this is. James is an intelligent and coherent boy and his behaviour does not match his personality but he has clearly been lured off the acceptable track, and the taste he has for crime has stuck. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the rest of us, he isnt very good at it, so it's probably only a matter of time, but maybe he is intelligent enough to realise this.

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  • ej060195  |  January 31 2013, 7:43PM

    This boy is disgusting! He has committed MANY more crimes than above and should be sent to prison, disgraceful that someone could get away with let alone do the things that he has done. As stated in the article, He stole charity box's!!! I'd love to see him in front of someone involved in one of those charities... for example someone with cancer. He did get off lightly, I can only hope that some day, that this excuse for a human gets sent to prison and drops the soap in the shower.

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  • Lynne121  |  January 27 2013, 10:16PM

    SERIOUSLY?? Ha ha ha

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  • allisonjean  |  January 27 2013, 7:13PM

    I am not defending the young person in question, but once again say that the problem lies within the system and having people making rash and hateful comments just helps no one, as for discipline with the MPs stopping parents from most forms of it what do you expect them to do, damned if you do and damned if you dont, crime is crime end of story but it is a crime that people can make such horrible accusations without the full facts is totally beyond me as I have said it is up to the JUDGE not individuals, or what sort of VIGILANTE STATE would we live in.

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  • Lynne121  |  January 27 2013, 6:29PM

    Having read the several comments regarding this article and indeed having posted on it myself, I am amazed at the response. The person in question has had more chances with the Judicial system than anyone else I know, and while I have every sympathy for his parents, its obvious that the 'back up' from them just isn't working. I am well aware that people have mental health issues,(I'm probably better equiped than most to comment on this subject), but there is no excuse whatsoever for robbing elderly or vunerable people, no matter what the reasons you think you have. I have dealt with victims of robberies in the past and the repercussions from such dispicable actions can have devasting effects. I am not saying that any comments were directed personally at any one person, but have yet to read any post that states the parents are responsible. As parents you do your best for your children, but surely, if you love them enough to 'back' them up when in the right, you should love them enough to discipline them when they are in the wrong. Theft is theft, no matter which way you wrap it up, and who has the right to steal from hardworking people just because they can?? The Judicial system in this country is a joke, the victims have no recourse and the criminals get away with crimes again and again...surely this cannot be right!! Or as a relative 'newcomer' to Lostwithiel am I wrong in what I state?

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  • lobita  |  January 27 2013, 4:43PM

    WOW there are many people living in our community with mental health problems , often they are mis diagnosed or diagnosed too late , until people live or know a person with these kind of issues they should try to understand that it is a great strain on the family and the society they live in !!!Do I agree with this behaviour NO do I think sending him to jail will solve the problem NO ,with out support and help nothing will change .As for people judging his parent ha ! they are good decent people who have tried to bring up their son the best way they can, as we all do , people can only judge if they are perfect and to be honest all the saints are in heaven !!!

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  • allisonjean  |  January 27 2013, 4:41PM

    Would like to defend my previous comment, which was not aimed at any one person, The behavior of some older people which I have been witness to, leaves a lot to be desired, as it seems that some in this town [local or moved here] seem to think that being a youth makes you guilty of things with no evidence, I myself am aware of one such occasion where a youth was accused of an act of vandalism on a property then assaulted by that owner physically and verbally with language as bad as you have received, that said my aim was to make aware that just because the parents are standing by their child, does not mean that they condone the behavior. The young man in question has been Judged by a 'JUDGE' as it should be, he pleaded guilty of these crimes, and those people out there who would make comments about him or his family should think on how the would react in the same circumstances, and unless the suffer with ADHD or have personal knowledge of this affliction and drug problems should refrain from making such comments which in themselves are a form of assault on a person, I myself suffered a break in when I was 7 months pregnant so would not belittle how upsetting this can be and do not condone that behavior but surely this young man needs help from his peers not JUDGMENTS !!!!

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  • allisonjean  |  January 27 2013, 4:17PM

    Would just like to defend my earlier comment which was not aimed at any one individual ,but witnessed by myself on more than one occasion, where a young person was judged to be a criminal with no evidence and even assaulted by an adult, this adult who I shall not be named but is still living in this town, used foul language as bad as you were assaulted with!! As for the case of the young man who has been found guilty, it should be noted that he did plead guilty and has been Judged by a 'JUDGE' as it should be, making a personal judgment on that person, or his family is an assault in itself if you are not aware of the personal grief it has caused all involved. I do not belittle the victims in this, as I was a victim of theft myself and know the anguish that it can cause!!

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  • Lynne121  |  January 26 2013, 9:58PM

    Just for the record could I please state that I have never spoken to this person in anyway other than politely, but I will NOT be spat upon in a street, called a *****, c**t or any other vile name this person used. This was done in full view of many people who 'were born and bred' in this town, but they chose to walk away and leave a 56 year old woman to face the abuse! I am not born and bred in this town, but I still have the right to walk in peace and safety.....or are those rights in Lostwithiel only for the Lostwithians? MY PERSONAL BEHAVIOUR HAS NEVER BEEN CALLED INTO QUESTION, I AM A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN AND WOULDN'T DREAM OF ABUSING OR INDEED ROBBING ANYONE. AND YES, I CAN WALK AROUND THIS TOWN HOLDING MY HEAD UP AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH. Some people in Lostwithiel don't want outsiders living here, but the 'outsiders' pay just the same amount of Council Tax, Water Rates etc just like everyone else.

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  • allisonjean  |  January 26 2013, 1:12PM

    I would like to start by saying that I do not agree with the things this young man has done, but feel that a lot of the behavior in Lostwithiel has been made to sound a lot worse than it actually is! I have lived in the town all my life, some of the behavior of the youth here has been aggravated by the behavior of some people who have moved into the town, I feel that if you speak to a young person as if they were a piece of trash, you will suffer with them being a problem, but if you speak to them as a human being they will treat you with some respect!! As for the parents, it is very easy to look in and judge those going through this type of problem with their child, show me a parent that would abandon that child totally, the young man in question has been given a last chance to show he is fundamentally a good person, His parents have tried to be supportive of him yet no one can be aware of the problems they have suffered in doing so . So please before you judge people you do not know think how you would cope facing a situation like this !!! SOME PEOPLE SHOULD LOOK TO THEIR OWN BEHAVIOR BEFORE MAKING COMMENT ON OTHERS !!!

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