Teen stole cash from grandma’s savings to buy drugs and booze

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

A teenager who in ‘the wrong crowd’ stole his grandmother’s savings and items of jewellery to buy drugs and alcohol, magistrates heard.

Leighton Hardstaff took about £1,000 from Olwen Harrison during a series of visits to her home in the town’s Clifton Road, Boston Magistrates’ Court was told last week.

The pensioner had stowed the cash away in a shoebox in her bedroom and had been adding to it every week, before the 18-year-old took the savings in January this year.

Hardstaff, of no fixed abode, admitted taking the money, along with jewellery and gold, when he stood before the court on Wednesday.

Kate Hartley, prosecuting, said Mrs Harrison suspected her grandson of stealing from her for some time, but she had not wanted to get the police involved before.

She added: “The only person that knew about the money was her daughter, and since then the only other person to have been to her house was Leighton Hardstaff. There was no sign that anyone had broken in. There were also complaints of other items she expected had been taken by him.”

Hardstaff admitted taking the money and the items as soon as he was approached by police.

“He realised that enough was enough. By his own admission he was associating with the wrong crowd. He was on benefits and spending the majority of his money on cannabis. Sadly, he stole from those closest to him to fund that habit. He gave no thought to the consequences of his actions,” said Phillipa Chatterton, defending.

She said he had now stopped smoking cannabis, and had apologised.

Describing the offence as ‘particularly mean’, magistrates gave him a 12-month community order with 100 hours’ unpaid work, and ordered him to pay £1,250 compensation and a £60 surcharge.