A thief forced to apologise to his victim for stealing his laptop under a restorative justice programme — stole the man’s replacement computer during the visit.
Months earlier Ivan Barker, 21, had stolen a laptop and cigarettes from wheelchair-bound Jean Jacque Mathely. So when he called round to say “sorry” his victim was naturally guarded, but let him in after he said police suggested he should face up to his offending…
“They had a conversation, and the injured party went to the toilet. He then heard the defendant shout that he was leaving.
“When Mr Mathley went back into the living room he noticed the drawer on his computer desk was open and his laptop was missing. The defendant had also taken two 100 packs of cigarettes.”
The court heard Mr Mathely had only just bought the computer for £200 to replace the first one Barker had taken three months before.
When he was arrested, Barker told police he had genuinely gone to the house to apologise, but while he was there “started stressing” and needed a drink. He said he took the computer and sold it for £30. Barker pleaded guilty to theft.
Gary Corbett, mitigating, said: “The defendant had been drinking to excess and taking cocaine before he went to the address. This was an opportunistic offence, he didn’t go there with the intention to steal these items…”
Magistrates sentenced Barker, of no fixed address, to 16 weeks in prison.
Our lame judges in New Mexico have a habit when dealing when repeat offenders of ruling them incompetent to stand trial – when they’re as screwed up as Mr. Barker. Then, they release them on their own recognizance because  there aren’t any programs to warehouse them in to rehab for whichever addiction is their excuse — and  they’re “not a danger to society”.
I think they should be allowed to move in with the judge in that case.