Sutton burglar broke into bike shop to pay for DNA paternity test

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court
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A Sutton man who burgled a bike shop to raise cash for a DNA test to prove he is the father of his partner’s son has been jailed.

Richard Coker ran away from Halfords, on Forest Street, but was caught by police officers shortly afterwards, at 2.30am, on April 20.

His accomplice, Craig Roebuck, was caught inside the store, unable to escape, said Robert Carr, prosecuting.

Two bikes, worth £700, were recovered, but £300 damage was caused to the door, he added, and a bag of tools was found nearby.

At the police station, Roebuck was found with a bag of subutex, a heroin treatment, and he also admitted stealing £60 of meat, from the Co-op, in Kirkby, on April 6, with another man.

The court heard Coker was last before the courts in February, was on two suspended sentences.

Roebuck was given 26 weeks in prison for a non-dwelling burglary, in November 2016, and was on post-sentence supervision.

Coker, 40, of High Street, Stanton Hill, Sutton, admitted burglary and Roebuck, 40, of High Street, Tibshelf, admitted burglary, as well as possession of a Class A drug and theft from a shop, when they appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Wednesday.

Chris Perry, mitigating, asked the bench not to activate the suspended sentences, which would see the pair sent immediately to prison.

He said Coker had been using heroin before his son had been born in May.

Social services prevented him from having contact with the boy, Mr Perry said, “until he can demonstrate he can stay drug-free.”

He said: “This has caused him to consider his future very seriously. He must prove he is fit to be the father and whether he is the father.

“In order to pay for the DNA test he committed the crime.”

Cheryl Nisbet, of the probation service, said: “Mr Coker has stopped using heroin but has continued to use amphetamine.

“He is very willing to engage but has still got a long way to go.”

Mr Perry said Roebuck had struggled with homelessness after his release from prison in January, but had recently found secure accomodation with the help of housing charity Framework.

“He got hold of some subutex to try and detoxify from heroin, but was unsuccessful,” Mr Perry added.

Magistrates gave Coker a total of 36 weeks in prison, and ordered him to pay £150 compensation.

Roebuck received 22 weeks in prison and was ordered to pay £110 compensation.