Beer stolen in raid found at addict's home
A DRUG addict has been handed a jail sentence after being caught with beer stolen during a break-in at a restaurant.
Police found empty bottles of the Polish tipple at Trevor Fitzherbert-Stewart's flat in Leek.
The booze had been taken from the recently-opened Little Poland restaurant, in Russell Street, Leek.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard the premises was still being renovated when it was raided on October 19.
The owner, Sylwia Grabara, and her brother were staying in the flat above the property while the work took place.
Prosecutor David Bennett said: "Mrs Grabara's brother was sleeping on the sofa when he heard noises downstairs.
"Thinking it was his sister he took no action. At around midnight he heard someone walking around upstairs.
"A bright torch was shone in his face and he realised there was an intruder, who fled."
The thief took several cases of beer with a value of £114.
Police examined CCTV footage from the restaurant, which was formerly Raymondo's.
The court heard an officer thought he recognised Fitzherbert-Stewart from the footage, and on October 22 went to his flat in Haywood Street.
A number of empty bottles of beer were found that were identical to the ones stolen during the burglary.
The defendant was originally charged with burglary and handling stolen goods.
However, the burglary charge was later dropped, and the 40-year-old pleaded guilty to handling the stolen beer.
The court heard he had previous convictions for 84 offences, dating back to 1983.
Stephen Oldham, mitigating, pointed to the 'poor' quality of the restaurant's CCTV footage, and claimed his client did not know where the beer had come from.
Mr Oldham said: "He denies being involved in the burglary.
"The CCTV is extremely poor quality.
"He didn't know the beer had come from a burglary.
"He has had a drug problem until now, but has been doing well on a methadone programme."
Judge David Fletcher sentenced Fitzherbert-Stewart to 16 weeks in prison.
He said: "As you have already spent 81 days in custody on remand, it is likely you will be immediately released."