Burglar stole laptop from doctor 'because he was angry about appoinment'
A BURGLAR who stole a laptop because he was “annoyed” he was unable to see a doctor has avoided being sent to jail.
Philip Leach, aged 45, admitted burgling Lever Chambers in Ashburner Street and stealing from a staff member’s handbag at Syke’s Pharmacy in St Helens Road, Daubhill, on October 14.
Steve Woodman, prosecuting, said Leach, of Hawthorne Road, Deane, attended an appointment at Lever Chambers late and was not happy when he was sent away.
Staff realised a laptop had gone missing a short time later.
It did not contain confidential information.
Bolton Magistrates Court heard Leach stole the laptop in anger. He stole from the handbag at Skye’s chemist after going behind the counter.
Leach appeared in The Bolton News’ wanted section on Wednesday because of the handbag theft. He was arrested a day later.
Darin Millar, defending, said his client’s offending was “opportunist and stupid”.
He said Leach, pictured had kept out of trouble since being released from custody in 2008.
District Judge Jonathan Finestein, sentencing, said: “You have pleaded guilty to these serious offences. I have said from the outset I don’t accept these stupid excuses about you being annoyed and then you went on to steal from the surgery and then the pharmacy.
“You knew exactly what you were doing. The victim of the handbag theft has every reason to feel very aggrieved.”
He added: “You do need help. You have had a difficult life. Unless you sort it out you will end up dead in prison or in the gutter, which ever happens first. Don’t screw it up, work with the probation service.”
Leach, who wore a vest with the words Bolton Select on the front, was sentenced to 16 weeks imprisonment for the handbag crime and 12 weeks for the incident at Lever Chambers.
The sentences will run consecutively and were suspended for two years.
He was also ordered to comply with a 12-month drug rehabilitation order, pay £250 compensation to the woman whose handbag was stolen, £150 to Lever Chambers for the laptop, which was not recovered, and an £85 victim surcharge.