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Addict burglar jailed again at 50
A DRUG addict who once stole the wallet of a 101-year-old war veteran has been jailed for burglary again.
Stephen Gillespie, 50, has been a heroin addict for more than 30 years and committed his latest offence due to a “relapse”, Oxford Crown Court heard.
Gillespie, of Goose Green Close, Wolvercote, admitted breaking into a house in Kingston Road, North Oxford, on Sunday, December 30, last year.
The defendant, who was described as having a “vast number” of previous convictions, stole a bottle of Champagne and 30 Euros.
On Monday he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for committing his third burglary under the ‘three strikes’ rule introduced in 1999.
The court heard that Gillespie’s latest victim, Patrick Badeley and his family, returned home at around 8.30pm, the day before New Year’s Eve.
They had been visiting family elsewhere in the country to find their house had been ransacked. The thief had cut himself by climbing through an open window, so the family found pools of fresh blood around the house when they got home.
Gillespie was previously jailed for three years in March 2009, after he confessed to stealing £300 from a 101-year-old war veteran, Kazimierz Michalski.
He told the pensioner, who he met at a church in Blackfriars Priory, St Giles, that the roof of his Summertown home needed repairing and he would fix it.
Instead he stole his wallet and received a punch from his elderly victim, who branded him a “weakling”.
Of his latest offence, Sarah Smith, defending, said said: “He relapsed in a bad way and started offending again to fund it.
“He is very ashamed of what he did and the impact that this would have had on the family and their children.
“He is not a bad person, but clearly the drugs make him a bad person to be around.”
Judge Ian Pringle said Gillespie still had the ability to kick his habit and straighten his life out. He said: “At the age of 50 you are much too old to be involving yourself in this constant thieving from people’s houses. You have the ability to wean yourself off drugs.”