Thief went back to crime after being spared jail
A CONVICTED thief who repaid a chance to avoid prison by committing more crime has been jailed for 18 months.
Mikey Rush was previously spared a prison sentence by Judge Carol Hagen, despite admitting stealing from 11 shops in and around Bristol.
Judge Hagen decided not to jail him after Rush wrote a letter saying he recognised he had to stop thieving and turn his life around.
Rush, 21, of no fixed address, was given a 12-month community order, with 12 months of supervision, a three-month curfew and 80 hours' unpaid work.
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Hearing that he had re-offended within a month, in July the judge remanded him in custody for a psychiatric report to be carried out.
Yesterday, after noting that Rush was not deemed to be currently suffering from psychiatric illness, told him: "I accept your psychological health is not the best.
"You have persistently offended. Having given you a community sentence, in less than a month there were snatch thefts of items of high value."
Judge Hagen heard Rush suffered from depression following his father's suicide and had been treated in hospital for three weeks.
Rush admitted snatching a Rolex watch and Apple iPhone from sellers and asked for several jewellery snatches from shops to be considered.
Earlier Julian Howells, prosecuting, said Rush met Gary Thomas at Bristol waterfront on April 14, with a view to buying a £3,000 Rolex ladies Yachtmaster watch.
The court heard they had a drink during negotiations and Rush threw a Coke in Mr Thomas' face before fleeing with the timepiece – which he then sold to fund a "gambling problem".
Mr Howells said in February Rush targeted a number of jewellers in Wales and the South West, before stealing a £450 iPhone from Niraj Gadher. Initially Rush claimed to have paid £400 for the phone.
When he appeared in court in January, Rush pleaded guilty to 11 thefts between August and October last year.
At the time, Judge Hagen said he fell between sentencing guidelines for burglary and theft from a shop, ranging from community order to some eight months' prison.
When Rush was last before the judge she heard how he struck at jewellers in Bristol, Bath, Swindon, Weston-super-Mare, Cheltenham and Oxford.
Timothy Rose, defending, said his client had started unpaid work and adhered to all supervision requirements.
Mr Rose said: "Plainly he has breached the order by the commission of further offences.
"It is impossible to explain satisfactorily why he has been behaving in the way that he has been for a number of years."
Mr Rose conceded Rush had carried out snatch and grab thefts with a degree of pre-meditation.