A MAN narrowly avoided a jail sentence for stealing a £200 bag of change from a taxi.
On September 18, Darren James Griffiths, of St Mary’s Close, Newtown, opened the front door of Mustafijdy Raham’s taxi and took the bag.
He saw Mr Raham asleep in the back and checked if he was okay, before leaving the scene.
Mr Raham found this suspicious and checked the taxi, discovering that £200 in change had been taken from the front of the car.
Griffiths, 46, admitted theft at a previous court hearing and was sentenced by Welshpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
Stephen Davies, prosecuting, said Mr Raham went to Griffiths’ house, as he was a well known customer, but he denied stealing anything.
Police were called and attended, and on a search found a bag of change. Griffiths said he did not know who it belonged to.
A further search found a black bag outside the property containing items belonging to Mr Raham.
Griffiths told police he had drunk a lot that day, including a bottle of whisky.
Robert Hanratty, defending, said a custodial sentence would not solve his client’s long standing issues, which stemmed from physical abuse during his childhood, which had been extremely traumatic. He said he was a prolific self harmer, and that was even before he began having problems with drinking, which he used as a coping mechanism.
He is currently engaging with Kaleidoscope, and that custody would simply not cure any of Griffiths’ problems.
Magistrates said it was tragically sad that things had come to this point, before they issued Griffiths with 28 days in prison, suspended for six months.
He was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.