A 49-YEAR-OLD rough sleeper who smashed a shop window so he would have a bed for the night in prison has been jailed for two months.
Christopher Henry Hall freely admitted that he had broken the window of a hairdresser’s shop in David Place.
He told the Magistrate’s Court he had nowhere to stay and that a prison cell would provide accommodation.
The court heard that Hall was also guilty of receiving stolen goods after friends took bottles of wine from Morrisons supermarket in La Colomberie two days earlier and gave him some.
Crown Advocate Lauren Hallam, prosecuting, told the court that after smashing the window – at 11.50pm on Saturday evening – he sat on the steps outside. When States police officers arrived, he said: “I did it.”
Both the malicious damage and the receipt of the stolen wine were captured on CCTV.
Hall also admitted both crimes under interview and pleaded guilty in court.
Advocate Lucy Marks, defending, said: “He has been very honest and open.”
She said her client realised the consequences of his actions and had apologised, and added: “He is disgusted by his behaviour. He has instructed me not to put forward a sob story on his behalf.”
However, the advocate pointed out that Hall had after his most recent release from prison been staying in a homeless shelter, until a “verbal disagreement” there.
“Rather than causing a fuss he chose to leave,” she said.
He had been sleeping rough since then, the court heard.
Advocate Marks added: “On Saturday the weather was very bad. He made the decision that there was no other option but to commit an offence in order to be offered housing – in prison.”
Assistant Magistrate Adam Clarke jailed Hall for two months for malicious damage and one month for receiving stolen goods, with the sentences to run concurrently.
He told him: “I hope you are able to sort out your housing afterwards.”