Harrogate drug addict jailed after selling mobile phone he stole for £35

Andrew Keogh (s)

Andrew Keogh (s)

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An 'opportunistic' drug addict who stole a mobile phone from The Grove House before selling it for £35 has been jailed.

On February 20, Andrew Keogh, Bauer Street, walked into the stately bar and restaurant on Skipton Road when he noticed the reception desk was unmanned.

CCTV images captured Keogh walking up to the desk before callously stealing the receptionist's Samsung Galaxy mobile phone then leaving the building.

Keogh then sold the phone, valued at £150, to a shop for just £35 before police quickly identified him from CCTV images and arrested him.

The 27-year-old appeared at Harrogate Magistrate's Court this morning, (March 22) and, despite pleading guilty at the first opportunity, was handed a jail sentence.

Defence solicitor, Peter Minikin, revealed that Keogh was subject to a community order in March last year when he stole the phone.

Although Keogh's last conviction for a dwelling or non dwelling burglary was in 2006, Mr Minikin said he had a history stealing from shops to fund his drug habit.

He said: "This was an opportunistic, unsophisticated and stupid offence. As you can see, he is well known to the police and the courts.

"He enters the building to use the bathroom, sees the reception desk is empty and decides to look and see what's there.

"Here, he makes the foolish and opportunistic decision to take the phone. There is an element of remorse due to the great lengths he has gone to help the police.

"He has been addicted to drugs and, in order to fund this, he steals from shops. He was subject to a community order in March last year and required to complete a drug rehab course."

As Keogh has put in 'a number of negative drug tests' whilst on the course, Mr Minikin argued it would be a 'backwards step' to send him to jail.

However, the magistrate argued that, because the offence was committed while on a community order and his history of repeat offences, he had to impose a custodial sentence.

Keogh was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison and ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge.