Wellingborough thief jailed after stealing Google Home Hub from Northampton home during diazepam-fuelled 'cloud'

Allen also tried to burgle two other properties nearby after taking diazepam, court hears

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 8:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 9:23 am

A Wellingborough thief has been jailed after stealing a Google Home Hub from a house in Northampton and trying to burgle two others during a diazepam-fueled 'cloud'.

Vincent Allen was sentenced to 18 months in prison and to pay £156 in compensation at Northampton Crown Court on Friday (August 13), having previously pleading guilty.

The 44-year-old, of Senwick Drive, claimed he committed the offences in April after taking his partner's medication, having stayed out of trouble for five years and clean from drugs.

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Northampton Crown Court

Daniel Green, defending, said: "He had adverse feelings which made him feel drunk and during this cloud he committed these offences.

"He's remorseful as it's been some time since he has done anything like this and he apologises for his actions."

Allen has an 'extensive' criminal record, dating back to 1999 for burglary, according to Jonathan Eley, prosecuting, but his last conviction was in 2016.

Mr Green said his client had a drug addiction for a long period of time during the late 1990s and early 2000s but managed to address it during a previous prison sentence.

However, he struggled when his Narcotics Anonymous meetings were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and took his partner's diazepam medication to cope.

Mr Eley said Allen was seen on CCTV looking inside a property in Crawley Close and trying to open the back door at around 6.45pm on April 28.

He was then seen going to the summer house where there was construction work ongoing and leaves.

Shortly afterwards the defendant is again seen on CCTV at the neighbouring property, where he again tries the back door but this time was unlocked.

With the family, including two young children, inside, Allen goes in and he is then seen with something in his hand.

The occupier said he noticed the Hub had gone missing and initially blamed his children, who pleaded their innocence, before reviewing his CCTV which showed the defendant take it.

At around 7.05pm, Allen disturbed a resident in Hodder Street by entering through the side gate - he said he was retrieving a non-existent football and was asked to leave.

The owner of the Google Home Hub put a picture of the thief on social media to appeal for information, which the police used to track him to his address where the smart device was found under his sofa.