Sunderland churchgoer jailed after being caught pushing stolen wheelie bin
A Sunderland churchgoer has been put behind bars after he was caught pushing a stolen wheelie bin through the streets in the early hours of the morning.
Anthony Nixon had been making his way home from an evening of socialising at a pal's house in April when the came across the bin at a building site and thought it would be ideal for his household refuse needs.
The 41-year-old was seen by police wheeling the bin, which had stolen ladders, worth £40, inside, along a street at Ford Estate in Sunderland and told the officers"I needed a wheelie bin".
Newcastle Crown Court heard Nixon has convictions for 116 previous offences and was on a suspended sentence for shoplifting at the time, but claims going to church has now "changed his life" and helped him become clean from drugs.
Nixon, of Kings Place, Millfield, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to theft and has been put behind bars for three-and-a-half months.
Mr Recorder Dapinder Singh QC told him: "You have a horrendous record of previous offences.
"You have been given chance after chance by the courts. Courts have asked you to complete orders, not to commit offences, you have been given bail, chosen to commit offences while on bail, failed to surrender, breached community orders."
The court heard the ladders that were in the bin belonged to a plumber who realised they were missing when he turned up to work at the building site.
Fiona Lamb, defending, Nixon, told the court: "This was an opportunist offence.
The defendant has been at a friend's house. They were socialising.
"On his way home he walked past the area, saw the wheelie bin, which is primarily what he was wanting. The ladders were in the wheelie bin and he decided to take both.
"He regrets his actions."
Miss Lamb said Nixon is now "clean" from drink and drugs and added: "He credits the huge change to the fact he has new been attending church.
"He is going regularly and it is something he says has completely changed his life and what he credits to staying off drugs.