Teen gets custody for family theft

A TEENAGER who stole from his foster mother and grandmother to pay off drug debts has been sentenced to 26 weeks behind bars.

Christopher Terzza, 18, of Church Street, in Filey, is starting his sentence in a young offenders’ institute after pleaded guilty to two charges of theft at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.

He also pleaded guilty to a charge of fraud, relating to one of the thefts.

Magistrates heard the first theft was on June 21 when Terzza went to visit his grandmother in Hartlepool.

Prosecuting Sandra White said his grandmother was concerned about him visiting her home.

She said: “Because she knew he was coming she hid her money in a purse, then put it in a bag, then hung the bag up on a coat rack under several coats.”

However Terzza found the purse and took £140 from it.

The second theft was August 9 when he stole furniture and electronic goods from his foster mother’s house, where he had lived for several years.

Mrs White told magistrates the complainant had received a telephone call during the day for a neighbour, saying there was a van at her house removing her property.

She went home to find to men removing a 32” television, and found further items of hers in the back of the van.

Mrs White said: “She was told by the men they had paid £190 for the items. The defendant had told them his mother was moving abroad and the items were free to take for the agreed sum of money.”

The court heard the complainant had to pay the £190 to get her furniture back.

The thefts were committed while Terzza was on a suspended sentence for a previous offence.

Mitigating Robert Vining said: “This defendant pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

“He sees it as inevitable that he will receive a custodial sentence for this.

“Whatever anyone says about this young man that shows a remarkable piece of realism on his behalf, in that how else would a court dealt with someone like him.”

After hearing the evidence magistrates sentenced Terzza to 16 weeks for the thefts. They also activated the suspended sentence of 10 weeks to run consecutively.

When sentencing him, magistrates told Terzza: “The reason for sending you to custody was the vulnerability of the victims and the fact they were family members.”