Man ‘blew £20k inheritance cash’

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A MAN’S frustrations at blowing a £20,000 inheritance on gambling and then turning to crime to fund the resulting habit led to a “cry for help”, a court heard.

Max Noble, 21, phoned 999 to say that he had a knife and was either going to hurt himself or someone else.

Noble, of Queen Street, was traced through the call to a shelter in the town and he was arrested with a four-and-a-half inch serrated bladed knife beside him on December 3 last year.

The previous month Noble kicked in the window of a Scarborough gallery, causing £600 damage, later telling the police that he had been “steaming” drunk and frustrated, having been drinking for six hours.

When quizzed about the knife and his emergency call, Noble told the police that he had been home alone in his flat and miserable, had had suicidal thoughts and had considered hurting others, including using the weapon to rob a taxi driver.

Noble appeared at York Crown Court for sentencing, having previously pleaded guilty to charges of causing criminal damage and possessing a bladed article in public.

John Bumfrey, prosecuting, told the court that a local resident heard the gallery window smashing at around 11pm on November 17 last year, saw Noble running away and contacted both the gallery owner and the police.

He told police that he had seen Noble later entering a food takeaway and officers discovered him inside.

Mr Bumfrey told the court that in the later incident police had tracked Noble to a shelter in North Marine Road through his phone call and found the knife wrapped in tissue paper.

Classing this incident as an “obvious cry for help”, Ruth Cranidge, mitigating, told the court how at the age of 20 her client inherited £20,000 from an aunt and then went on to blow the lot on gambling and “other worthless activities”.

She said that once the money had gone, Noble turned to crime in order to feed his gambling habit, amassing several convictions for dishonesty over an eight-month period.

Asking the court to continue a previously made court order, excluding Noble from casinos and bookmakers, Miss Cranidge said that Noble now realised that he needed help and was willing to participate.

Sentencing Noble, Recorder Nicholas Campbell QC told him that he had breached all the non-custodial court orders imposed on him in the past.

However, he added that because of his apparent willingness to now partake in programmes, he was “with great reluctance” prepared to take an exceptional course for the offences Noble had committed.

Noble was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, placed under supervision for two years and ordered to take part in a Thinking Skills Programme.

He was also ordered to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and the exclusion order was reactivated to last for the next two years.

The recorder warned Noble that if he did not comply with the court orders this time he could “guarantee” that he would have to serve the suspended sentence.