Cannabis addict stole cash from stranger and ex girlfriend

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The Ilfracombe teenager took the cash to fund £10-a-day cannabis habit.

A CANNABIS addict has pleaded guilty to stealing a purse from a woman in Ilfracombe and breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house and stealing cash from her.

Michael Prideaux, 19, of Orchard Road, Ilfracombe, admitted two counts of theft and one of trespassing at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The court heard the teenager followed a woman from a bus on Wilder Road in Ilfracombe into the Lidl store on January 16.

He was walking closely behind her and prosecutor Karen Ball said when the woman reached for her purse at the check out ‘she felt a hand in her bag’.


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Prideaux walked out of the store and when the woman confronted him he said he didn’t have her purse, before running off.

In interview, the teenager admitted he had taken £42 in cash from her purse to fund his £10-a-day cannabis habit, before dumping the rest into a nearby litter bin.

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Prideaux was released on bail but while awaiting a court appearance for the charges he stole £125 in cash from his ex-girlfriend.

The court heard he had been to her house for dinner on February 4 and after he left at around 11pm, she found £20 missing from her purse.

The next day, she saw Prideaux at college and he told her he was going to ‘trash her flat’.

He then went to the property, which was insecure, and stole £105 in cash from a purse which she had put aside for driving lessons.

When questioned by police, Prideaux admitted entering the flat and taking the money.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing for a pre sentence report to be compiled by probation, to consider all options including custody and sentence by the Crown Court.

Prideaux will next appear at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on March 13.

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