Judge tells jailed South Yorkshire offender there is support to change during coronavirus crisis

A judge has told an offender who had been harassing his mother that when he comes out of prison there will be support due to the coronavirus pandemic for him to make a change.

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 10:58 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 2:59 pm

David Lawrence Hewitt, 42, of no fixed abode, admitted at a Sheffield Magistrates’ Court hearing on April 24 that he has been harassing his mother by visiting her home daily on Carnforth Road, Monk Bretton, Barnsley and demanding money.

The court – sitting at the Sheffield Crown Court building – heard Hewitt had been under post-sentence supervision following release from prison but after he harassed his mother between January and April he has been recalled to prison to complete his original sentence which finishes in June.

District Judge Naomi Redhouse told Hewitt: “We’re living in a different world to the one you have been living in and there are some people who will use the new world to make some changes.

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Pictured is Sheffield Crown Court which has been hosting Sheffield Magistrates' Court hearings during the coronavirus crisis.

“I am well aware accommodation is now available to all homeless people. They are housing people in hotels and in a way they have never done before.

“Prescriptions are available and there is a really big push to get people like you away from your normal lifestyle.

“When you come out these provisions are likely to be there so make sure you access them.

“If you want to make a change it’s the best time to do it. The drugs are not available like before and you cannot keep hanging around on street corners.”

Matthew Duffy, prosecuting, said Hewitt had been attending his mother’s address since his release from prison in January and regularly asking for money.

He added that Hewitt’s mother suffers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which makes her vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic and even more keen for her son to stay away.

Gus Kennedy, defending, said Hewitt, who has drug issues, had been due to go to a hostel but the placement fell through and he has had no fixed address and has had problems obtaining benefits.

Hewitt was recalled to prison and sentenced to a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation requirement to be completed on his release. He was also made subject to a 12-month restraining order.