A man broke into his former friends flat to give her “a taste of her own medicine” after her drug-dealing activities made him and others in a block of Scarborough flats feeling unsafe.
Harley-Kane Watkins, 21, was said to have wanted the woman to feel unsafe in the flats, kicking down her front door while she and her partner were away, and taking a stereo system.
Anna Wilkinson, appearing for Watkins at York Crown Court, said that the woman’s West Square flat was being used for drug dealing, attracting people from as far away as London.
She added that her client was not the only resident of the flats to be in fear, a female occupant having twice been threatened with knives by visiting dealers.
Watkins, now of Westbourne Grove, had been living in the rooms beneath the woman at the time of the incident.
The £90 stereo was later sold by Watkins for £5 to a local second-hand shop, although Miss Wilkinson told the court the value of the item was not the reason for Watkins entering the flat.
She said her client had acted through alcohol combined with frustration, now accepting in hindsight that entering the flat on April 7, this year, had been a very poor decision.
Miss Wilkinson said that Watkins was, for the first time since leaving his family home at the age of 14, now in a settled relationship with settled accommodation.
Watkins, who appeared for sentencing on a previously admitted charge of burglary, has a criminal record for dishonesty.
He told the police on his arrest after his fingerprint was recovered from the woman’s flat that she and her partner were drug dealers, dealing from the building, that he had not felt safe as a result and wanted to give her “a taste of her own medicine” by breaking in to their flat.
Passing sentence, Recorder Deborah Sherwin said that burglary was always a mean and serious offence and that it was not the right way to go about solving a problem.
She sentenced him to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work.