Man stole from parents’ South Shields home to fund Valium addiction

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A MOTHER has vowed that her son’s break-in at her home is “the last straw” for their troubled relationship.

In a matter of weeks, Jamie Lewis committed a series of crimes against his long-suffering family in South Shields so he could get money to buy drugs.

Your parents, fairly understandably, are dismayed by what has happened. They have stood by you in the past, but feel things have reached an impossible point.

Judge Deborah Sherwin

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 29-year-old stole two designer watches belonging to his parents, worth almost £1,000, and sold them for £30.

He traded in a television set and Freeview box his sister had loaned him for another £30.

And on January 14, Lewis smashed his way into his parents’ South Shields home through a window so he could steal £3,500 worth of property.

Paul Rowland, prosecuting, told the court: “He became an immediate suspect because, apart from the areas in the house where the items were, nothing else was touched.”

The court heard when Lewis was arrested his family got a lot of the stolen belongings returned to them.

He told police the reason behind his offending was to obtain money to buy Valium.

In a victim impact statement, his mother said she is “devastated “ by her son’s behaviour.

Mr Rowland added: “She said she has given him chance after chance as she didn’t want him on the streets. She had believed in the past he would change, but won’t now.

“She is upset about what he has done. She has effectively said that is the last straw. She wouldn’t help him again.”

The court heard Lewis’s father has expressed similar sentiments.

Lewis, of no fixed address, admitted theft, fraud and burglary and Judge Deborah Sherwin jailed him for 10 months.

The judge told him: “Your parents, fairly understandably, are dismayed by what has happened.

“They have stood by you in the past, but feel things have reached an impossible point.”

Graeme Cook, defending, said Lewis has turned his back on drugs while in custody on remand, despite being offered them.

Mr Cook said: “He has lost his family at the moment through it and doesn’t wish to lose anything more.

“He accepts they are not going to be interested until he can prove to them he has got rid of the addiction.”