Sorry thief steals three charity boxes from Starbucks in Longwell Green

He was sentenced for the ‘mean offence’ today

A Bristol man broke into a Starbucks and swiped charity boxes to pay off his drug dealer, leaving a trail of blood in his wake, a court heard.

Nikolaus Jeffries was sentenced after pleading guilty to burglary at Bristol Magistrates Court this morning (Wednesday, June 15).

The court heard that Jeffries, of New Cheltenham Road in Kingswood, was on a 20ml methadone script but would sometimes ‘top up’ with quantities of heroin and crack cocaine, landing him in debt with his drug dealer.

In the early hours of February 9, the 41-year-old broke into a Starbucks branch at Longwell Green and stole three charity boxes containing cash of an unknown value.

Arriving at the Starbucks the morning after, a staff member noticed the door to the coffee shop had been damaged and that there was a ‘trail of blood spots’ - she was ‘too frightened’ to go in and called the police.

After being assaulted in a separate incident, Jeffries was identified in connection with the burglary and arrested.

Jeffries’ defence solicitor told the court that his client had ‘been through the mill’, especially after the death of his mother, and that he was ‘deeply apologetic’ for the offence.

“He has managed to stay out of trouble since 2009,” he said. “He feels bad about it, and maintains that he would not have done this had he not owed money.”

Jeffries told the court that he was unemployed and in receipt of benefits, sofa surfing while on the long waiting list for a council house, and that his life had ‘no structure’.

He was initally reluctant to begin a drug rehabilitation requirement (DRR) on recommendation of District Judge Lynn Matthews, but eventually consented, saying: “If I have to do it, I will.”

“The DRR would give your life structure,” Judge Matthews told him. “You’d rather go to [HMP Bristol], would you?

“The manner in which you’re dealing with your issues is self-destructive, and now it’s starting to affect the community.

“You’ve managed to stay offence-free for years and now because you were in financial difficulty and owed your drug dealer money, you have committed this mean offence.

“I could lock you up for 12 weeks and you’d be out in six, and then you’d be back on the streets ‘topping up’, no doubt.

“Or, we can try and tackle the long-standing problem. If you don’t show up, it will be imprisonment.”

Along with the six month drug rehabilitation requirement, Jeffries was ordered to complete a 12 month community order and a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He will also pay £99 in compensation, divided between the three charities, £100 in compensation to Starbucks and court costs of £85.