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Mansfield man “put his head in the sand” and missed meetings

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A young man who missed probation meetings in Maidstone to look after his poorly mum in Mansfield was told not to put his head in the sand, a court heard.

Steven Burgess failed to turn up for appointments on May 17, 21 and 30, after receiving a suspended sentence in February.

Morgan Hogarth, mitigating, said the suspended sentence had been imposed for unrelated charges of cocaine possession, criminal damage, and failing to attend court.

He said Burgess, who has been diagnosed as bi-polar, “shot himself in the foot” by oversleeping on the day of his trial.

He moved to Maidstone in February to live with his brother and had “four months of compliance” with the probation services, Mr Hogarth said.

In April, Burgess moved back to Mansfield to look after his mum when she fell ill, but failed to inform the probation service after losing his mobile phone on the tracks while changing trains.

He was “kicked out” of his mum’s home “within a week”, Mr Hogarth said, adding: “He assumes that he is in trouble and doesn’t go back to his probation officer in Maidstone.”

Burgess, 23, who gave his address as Frith Grove, Mansfield, admitted the breaches, when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

Chair Gabbie Patterson said: “The problem is, the more you put your head in the sand, the worse it will get in the long run.”

Magistrates ruled it would be unjust to activate the sentence because of his medical condition and personal circumstances, and he was released.

His case will now be transferred back to Maidstone.