Ipswich: Thief jailed after betraying ‘mercy’ of court

A THIEF has been blasted by a judge for betraying the mercy of a court while on a two-year suspended prison sentence.

Jason Rabenda, of Buregate Road, Felixstowe, stole a cash tin containing �135 from the Hare and Hounds pub in Norwich Road, Ipswich.

Two months earlier, the 22-year-old had been spared prison after admitting a house burglary in Ipswich, the town’s crown court heard.

Rabenda claimed he had taken the cash because he believed the pub’s owner would not pay him for some painting, decorating and window cleaning he had done.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said Rabenda had gone out with the pub’s manager, who was a friend, on December 15 and was invited to stay at the hostelry overnight.

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Before leaving in the morning, Rabenda took the cash tin off a bar.

Mr Crimp said the suspended sentence given to Rabenda – who has numerous convictions for dishonesty and driving offences – was “perhaps optimistic, in light of his failure to comply with an earlier community order”.

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Recorder Michael Pooles QC, who described the sentence as “generous”, told Rabenda: “You come before this court three months after a judge exercised a very substantial degree of mercy upon you.

“In October, you were here on a charge of burglary. The judge was persuaded, because of your youth, because of your not having the worst record in the world, and no doubt on the basis of assurances that you were trying to get your act together, to take the very merciful course of ordering a suspended sentence, together with community penalties.

“Within weeks of that merciful sentence, you were in breach of it. Having gone to a public house with a friend, having been offered accommodation, having been bought drinks in the course of the evening, you repaid that generosity by helping yourself to your employer’s cash.

“Given the way you have treated the mercy of the court in recent weeks and months it is, in my opinion, unanswerably the case that a custodial sentence must follow.”

Rabenda was sentenced to a total of six months and two weeks in prison after he admitted theft and breach of a suspended sentence.

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