Desperate man stole from long-time friend

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man looking for money for food and alcohol stole from a family friend he had known for 40 years, a court heard.

Dennis Partington, 53, had been drinking and bumped into June Willett while she was shopping in Tyldesley on March 30.

He chatted to Ms Willett and her friend before offering to walk her home, Wigan And Leigh Magistrates’ Court was told.

Partington walked to Ms Willett’s house and asked for a drink. She gave him some water and then received a telephone call.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, said: “She heard the voice of Mr Partington asking her who was on the phone.

“She told the lady from social services, who was on the phone, who was in the house with her.

“At that point the defendant said he had to go and left the house.”

Ms Willett checked her bag and found her purse was missing. It had contained £10 in change.

She also discovered £80 had been taken from a drawer, Miss Kenyon said.

A probation officer told the court that Partington, of Brooklands Avenue, Atherton, took the money so he could buy food and alcohol.

He admitted drinking three or four times a week, but she believed he was underestimating it.

Bob Toppin, defending, said Partington did not target Ms Willett, but looked for money because he had been drinking.

And despite initially pleading not guilty, he soon admitted the theft so that Ms Willett did not have to give evidence in court, he said.

Sentencing, Christopher Duckett, chairman of the bench, said: “We do consider what has happened is a breach of trust for somebody who has known you for a vast number of years.”

He handed down a community order for nine months, with a rehabilitation activity requirement for 20 days and alcohol treatment requirement for six months.

Partington also has a curfew from 7pm to 7am for eight weeks and must pay £85 costs, £90 compensation and £60 victim surcharge.