Man bored by Covid furlough turned to drugs

ipswich crown court

Nicholas Barker was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Suffolk man who turned to drugs because he was bored after being furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic has been given a suspended prison sentence for a string of offences committed to finance his drug habit.

Sentencing Nicholas Barker, Recorder Graham Huston said he’d had an income after being furloughed during lockdown between February and June last year and had resorted to using crack cocaine because he had nothing to do.

He said that since being in custody since June, Barker had become drug-free and it was hoped that with support from the probation service he could stay drug-free in the future.

Barker, 33, of Grosvenor Yard, Newmarket, admitted three offences of shoplifting, three offences of theft of pedal cycles, two burglaries of shops, assault by beating, a public order offence and criminal damage.

He was jailed for a total of 98 weeks suspended for two years and given a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 40 days.

The court heard the cycles stolen by Barker were worth more than £1,000 and he had also stolen items worth more than £1,500 from shops.

The assault by beating offence related to him head-butting a man he claimed owed him £10.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter