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Drug addict in one-man crime wave jailed

By John Scott | Crime | Published:

A drug addict terrified three women during a one-man smash and grab crime spree in which he committed 22 offences within three months, a judge heard.

Wolverhampton Crown Court where the case was heard

Stephen Heathcock targeted his female victims as they sat in their parked cars, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

The 38-year-old shattered or tried to break windows in the vehicles before opening a door to steal the occupant’s handbag and its contents.

As a result an 84-year-old woman, recently widowed after 63 years of marriage, lost her iPhone and the ‘irreplaceable’ photographs stored on it after he hurled a brick at her car.

The defendant also ‘persistently tormented’ her friends and families by sending text messages to those listed on he contacts list, said Mr Andrew Baker, prosecuting.

The brick cracked, but did not break, a window in the vehicle before her handbag was snatched as she waited in the Lidl supermarket car park in Blackhalve Lane, The Scotlands on September 26.

A fourth woman had her car stolen when Heathcock went to the Berry Brook Farm carvery in Cannock Road, Wednesfield, on September 6 and took her handbag which had the keys to her Toyota inside.

The defendant headed for the nearby Applegreen garage where he stole two bottles of oil.

Heathcock also used £30 limit contactless debit cards taken from the women on 13 occasions to steal goods worth hundreds of pounds which were then sold for drug money after being taken from a variety of Wolverhampton shops, the court heard.

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The defendant also shoplifted more than £200 worth of items from four stores during the crime wave that lasted from July to September which ended after he was arrested trying to run away from a Vauxhall Astra Estate used earlier by him to escape from the Home Bargains store in Cannock Road, Dunstall.

Heathcock from Old Fallings Lane, Fallings Park, who had 15 previous convictions involving 29 separate offences, pleaded guilty to 13 frauds, the theft of a car, three thefts from the person, four thefts from shops and a further theft.

Mr David Iles, defending, said: “He started taking heroin seven years ago and after that his life has gone into an ever increasing downward spiral because of the drugs.”

The defendant was jailed for three years and five months.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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