Cornwall

Man jailed for Cornish poppy box thefts

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal collection box
Image caption The collection box thefts were described by one magistrate as "despicable"

A man has been jailed for stealing three poppy appeal collection boxes in Cornwall, including one on Armistice Day.

Benjamin Joseph Gordon, 25, from Bodmin, took one box from council offices in Bodmin and another from the town's Specsavers store on Tuesday.

He also stole a box from the Nationwide Building Society in the town after the two-minute silence on Thursday.

The unemployed drug user was jailed for 35 days for the three thefts.

Staff at the building society branch in Fore Street noticed the box was missing at about 1130 GMT on Thursday.

Gordon, from Chestnut Grove, was caught after he was spotted on CCTV carrying out one of thefts.

He told police he had stolen the boxes to get money for drugs and he had not realised it was Armistice Day, Bodmin Magistrates' Court heard.

His solicitor told the court that the offences were fuelled by an escalating addiction to heroin and that Gordon wanted to express his sincere apologies to the court and the Royal British Legion.

The chairman of the magistrates, Pat Walker, described the thefts as "despicable".

Gordon was also jailed for 84 days for breaching a previous suspended sentence and a community order, bringing his sentence to a total of 119 days.

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