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Son stole £4,500 from father to pay off drug debt

A BUSINESSMAN’s son has promised to pay back every penny of the £4,500 he stole from his father after breaking into his house to swipe his safe and pay off a drug debt.

Estranged-son Edward Cunneyworth, 19, waited outside of his father’s house in Main Street, Newport, while he went to work – before breaking-in and stealing the family safe. He also took a hard drive from CCTV  cameras at the property to cover his tracks.

His father, a company director, became suspicious because so little was taken. The fact his son knew there was a hard-drive backing up CCTV coverage meant the finger of suspicion soon pointed his way.

Former South Hunsley School student Cunneyworth of West Close, Newport, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence for a charge of burglary – watched by his grandparents in the public gallery. (Thursday, March 10).

Principal Crown advocate Phillip Evans said Edward Cunneyworth was seen on Main Street, Newport on December 22 around 4.40pm before he entered the house by force.

“He removed the safe and contents and the hard drive for the CCTV,” said Mr Evans. “When the burglary was discovered the fact so little property was disturbed and the removal of the hard drive drew the complainant to point to his son as being responsible.”

Mr Evans said on the morning of December 30 the police attended at the son’s premises at College Close, in Goole. They recovered the safe contents – but the safe had been thrown away.

He said the father and son were estranged, but the son made a full confession telling police he was motivated to pay a drug debt.

He said there was planning because he had waited for his father to go to work and the maximum sentence was two years in prison.

The court heard he had a police caution for an offence against his grandmother.

Defence barrister Claire Holmes said in light of his frankness, his early guilty plea, and lack of previous convictions a community penalty might meet the justice of the case.

She said: “He is living with his grandmother. He lost his job because of his poor mental health. He has found a new job which he will start next week. He has discussed with his grandparents how he will contribute to his upkeep and he will save money to repay every penny to his father regardless of the outcome of this case.

“This is a tragic case no matter which view point of view you look at it from. He was at a low point in his life. He began self medicating with drugs and alcohol. This lead to a low point at the New Year. He hopes to demonstrate to his father that he is able to turn his life around. This family may be able to heal itself.”

Judge Simon Jack ordered Cunneyworth to stand as he told him: “I am going to defer sentence for six months, to see if you can stay out of trouble and repay a significant part of the debt to your father and cope with your drug problem. If you do not do those things there is still the possibility you will go to immediate imprisonment. It is in your interest to comply.”

He allowed Cunneyworth to walk free to be sentenced at Hull Crown Court on September 9, 2016.

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