Thief showed no pity for his poor victim

A criminal who was caught trying to break into a car told police he did not feel sorry for the owner of the vehicle because life in Chesterfield is tough.

Monday, 28th July 2014, 6:19 pm
sp56888 Chesterfield magistrates' court

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, July 28, how Matthew Knight, 40, of North Road, Duckmanton, had just been released from prison for stealing from vehicles when police caught him breaking into a Land Rover Freelander on Spa Lane to grab a blanket.

Prosecuting solicitor Ian Shaw said: “He hadn’t been released from prison very long when officers heard an alarm and their instinct that someone was breaking into a car was absolutely right. They saw Knight leaning in through a smashed window with a brick in his right hand and he started to run but changed his mind and said he had done it.”

Mr Shaw explained how Knight also told officers: “The system is s**t. I need to steal to survive,” and ,”I do not feel sorry for whose car it is. S**t happens. In Chesterfield, life is tough.”

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Knight pleaded guilty to attempted theft after the incident on Sunday, July 27.

The court heard the vehicle owner had returned to find his car missing after it had been recovered by police following the incident in the early hours.

The owner stated he needs the vehicle for work, was worried about the impact on his insurance premiums and he had subsequently been unable to visit his daughter.

Defence solicitor Denny Lau said Knight could not get to his friend’s at Duckmanton so he decided to steal a blanket to get some sleep overnight.

Mr Lau, who explained the former soldier has struggled with drugs, added: “It’s a shame Mr Knight made his comments because he is a man who cares about himself and others.”

Magistrates jailed Knight to 10 weeks’ custody after considering previous convictions.