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Homeless man sold stolen make-up in Mansfield marketplace hours after court appearance

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A Mansfield man who left court in the morning to sell stolen make-up in the afternoon has been trapped in a cycle of prison, homelessness and crime for 17 years, a court heard.

Lee Brown appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on October 9, when he was given a deferred sentence for stealing a £20 speaker and possessing the drug “mamba”.

At 3.15pm, he was seen selling mascara in Mansfield market place, by a member of the Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID) team.

Staff at Wilkinsons checked CCTV and found that he had stolen the cosmetics on the same day. But when he returned two days later to steal more, he was stopped by staff.

He told police he stole the goods to buy food because he was homeless.

Mary Dixon, mitigating, said: “He has a long and extensive record of dishonesty, which is because he has never had stable accommodation since 2001.

“Over recent years he has become more and more depressed and institutionalised. He gets short prison sentences but there’s very little support that he has and he doesn’t find it easy to access.

“In the past he has stayed with friends but they have dropped by the wayside. He is not on any benefits. He comes out of prison, he’s homeless, he’s on the streets. We keep going round and round.”

Brown, 38, of no fixed abode, admitted the thefts and possession of the Class B drug, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

Chair Richard Eaton said: “The only way this cycle of offending is ever going to be broken is with you being motivated. If you are motivated then there are potential opportunities. But you have to want to be part of that.”

Brown was sentenced to a total of 20 weeks in prison. He was ordered to pay a £115 government surcharge.