"Lucky" man who stole £15,000 from his mother avoids jail again

"Lucky" man who stole £15,000 from his mother's bank account to pay off a drug debt has avoided jail for a second time.

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 12:29 pm

Christopher Charles Roper from Knottingley was spared custody and given a suspended sentence in August after admitting defrauding his mother.

He was also given a six-month electronic tag curfew order, meaning he has to reside at his home address between 7pm and 6pm each night.

But he was returned to Leeds Crown Court this week where he admitted breaching the curfew order four times.

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Prosecutor Martin Robertshaw said that in total, Roper was out of his top-floor flat for three hours and 39 minutes, spread across four dates, including September 26 and 27, and October 17 and 21.

Mitigating, Gareth Henderson-Moore said on the first occasion, Roper had been attacked, although did not report it to police, and on another, he had locked himself out of his flat.

For the remaining breaches he thought it might because he is a smoker and has to leave his top-floor flat to go outside for a cigarette.

Mr Henderson-Moore said: "These are not really flagrant breaches, but he understand he needs to take more care with this order."

Speaking about the fraud offence that landed him in court, Mr Henderson-Moore said: "He is thoroughly ashamed of his behaviour and wishes to put his relationship with his mother back together. That being said it's a very mean offence."

The court was told that Roper had been given his mother's bank card to buy her groceries, but he drained her account to the point it put her into her overdraft.

Roper, 40, of Eddystone Rise, Knottingley, used it to pay off a drug debt he had amassed.

The judge, Recorder Simon Jackson QC avoided jailing him, and extended his curfew by an additional three months instead.

He told him: "There are very few things more despicable than stealing from your mother.

"Going out for a cigarette and losing your keys is not a good reason. If you are assaulted then go to the police.

"You are extremely fortunate, you won't be next time and you will go into custody.

"You have been very lucky today."

He ordered unemployed Roper to pay the £95 court costs, describing it as a "waste of public money".