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Keighley man is locked up for order breach
11:00am Friday 17th August 2012 in News
A man who escaped jail “by the skin of his teeth” for stealing £24,580 in bingo hall takings and blowing it on a jaunt to Amsterdam has been locked up for eight months for breaching his suspended sentence.
Leon Jones, 21, was told by Recorder Michael Smith he had come “perilously close” to immediate custody when he sentenced his co-accused, Liam Knights, to 15 months’ detention in a young- offender institution in June last year.
Jones, of Westbank Close, Keighley, and Knights, who was treasurer at Gala Leisure, in Alice Street, Keighley, pleaded guilty to stealing the takings on March 13 last year.
The court heard that the pair spent all the money on hotels and cannabis in Amsterdam. They were arrested at the airport when they returned flat broke to the UK.
Jones was then sentenced to nine months’ detention in a young-offender institution, suspended for 18 months, with supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work.
On Friday he was back at Bradford Crown Court to be sentenced for breaching the order by punching a man in the face at Asda in Keighley on March 30. Jones admitted common assault, failing to comply with the supervision and unpaid-work order and failing to turn up in court.
Prosecutor Claire Larton said the assault victim suffered a bleeding nose and cut cheek after he was punched in the face while pushing his shopping trolley. Jones then ran away.
Jones had done just over half his unpaid work hours and had failed to turn up for many supervision appointments.
His barrister, Jayne Beckett, said he “went along for the ride” to Amsterdam and escaped custody “by the skin of his teeth”.
He suffered a number of health problems and the assault was in retaliation for a previous incident when he alleged he was attacked by the same man.
Judge Peter Benson said it was “a very serious offence of theft”.
The money was blown in a matter of weeks in Amsterdam.
Jones’ performance on the community order was “lamentable” and this was the third breach hearing, the court heard.
The Judge said he had no choice but to imprison him.