Drug is blamed for house crime

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A SERIAL burglar who was sent to jail for raiding a house in Doncaster has blamed his offending on his addiction to cannabis.

A lawyer defending 18-year-old Jordan Andrewatha, warned those who play down the dangers of the ‘soft’ drug to take a look at his case.

Speaking in defence of Andrewatha at Doncaster Crown Court, his lawyer Michael Cane-Soothill said: “He was introduced to cannabis at a young age.

“For those seen in the media saying cannabis is a harmless drug, they should speak to my client. Cannabis was behind this offence - it was for money for food and money for cannabis.”

Andrewatha was jailed for 18 months after he raided a house in St Hilda’s Road, Belle Vue.

He and a youth were stopped by police following a burglary at a house in which a laptop computer and cash were taken.

Andrewatha, of South Street, Hyde Park, already had three convictions for burglary committed while he was a juvenile, the court heard.

He admitted carrying out the latest raid with a juvenile whose case has been heard in youth court and 19-year-old Reece Thomas, of North Street, Hyde Park.

The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a referral order after admitting handling stolen property, while Thomas admitted burglary, on the basis he acted as a lookout.

Neil Coxon, prosecuting, said resident Philip Jeffrey was at home and called the police after hearing a noise.

He looked out of a window and saw a man with a baseball bat.

Mr Coxon said Mr Jeffrey heard banging and went downstairs to investigate.

Glass had been broken in the back door and it was open.

Police were called and they spotted Andrewatha and the youth carrying a baseball bat and arrested them.

When officers visited Andrewatha’s home they were greeted by Thomas, who was also interviewed.

Mr Jeffrey told police: “I found the incident very frightening and disturbing.”

Richard Sheldon, defending Thomas, said he was ‘genuinely ashamed’ of what he had done.

He was given a 30 week suspended prison sentence.

Sentencing Andrewatha, Judge Jacqueline Davies said: “You accept you were the instigator of this offence.

“Your record for your age is concerning.”