Drugs can dramatically change the way a person acts, often leading the affected individual down a path of criminal behaviour. It can be difficult for the addict to fully come to terms with the fact that he or she is suffering from addiction. In some cases, he or she will try to ignore this; however, it is important to acknowledge the problem so that the person can go through treatment such as addiction detox to beat their illness once and for all. One individual who turned to a life of crime to fund his drug addiction is Thomas Archer, who burgled a disabled, elderly man’s home and stole some of his personal belongings.

Distraught and Upset

The effects of drugs can be extremely damaging and can completely change the way an individual behaves. This was the case of twenty-two-year-old Thomas Archer, who burgled multiple sclerosis sufferer John Bradford in order to fund his severe heroin addiction. Mr Bradford was left distraught and extremely upset after his home was burgled; he was even more upset once he found out that it was Archer who was the culprit. Gloucester Crown Court heard that Archer had ‘inside knowledge’ of Mr Bradford’s home as he was a close friend of a woman who had previously done work for the vulnerable man.

Despicable

Prosecutor Richard Treharne explained how homeless Archer had once visited Mr Bradford’s home with the woman and was given sandwiches by the unsuspecting victim. However, he went on to say that Mr Bradford’s generosity was repaid in a ‘despicable’ way after Archer forced open a key box on the wall outside Mr Bradford’s home and allowed himself into the property. Once inside, he proceeded to steal many of Mr Bradford’s possessions, including two iPads, a laptop, an iPhone, three watches, car keys, and bank card. Upon leaving the property, he used Mr Bradford’s bank card to withdraw £1,250 from a bank machine and obtained a further £49 worth of goods from a garage. The female accomplice gave Archer the pin.

Vulnerable

Archer was handed a twenty-eight-month prison sentence by Judge Michael Cullum after he pleaded guilty to the burglary and fraud offences. Judge Cullum explained, “This was a particularly despicable burglary. It is one which, I am sure you realise, even many criminals would not have stooped to. You knew Mr Bradford was a 60-year old disabled multiple sclerosis sufferer with very limited mobility. You took his car keys so he couldn’t use it. It had to be damaged in order to get into it again. He was dependent on medication, but you took his iPad on which he had all the details of that medication. He was someone very vulnerable in his house, and you took away his sense of safety. He had a mobile phone for emergencies, and you took that as well.”

Bitterly Disappointed

The judge added, “When you went into his home as a burglar at dead of night, you had a profound effect on his life. You may have thought your own life has not been easy, but his, latterly, has been a lot harder and you made it worse. You knew exactly who you were burgling. You had met him and had eaten his sandwiches in his home not long before. None of the usual common decency came into play when you decided to burgle him in your hunt for money for your drug addiction.”

Mr Bradford admitted in a victim impact statement that he had not been able to get a proper night’s sleep because of the burglary and that he felt ‘bitterly disappointed’ in the woman who assisted Archer as she portrayed herself as a ‘lovely girl’ and then abused his trust.

Huge Degree of Remorse

Claire Fear, Archer’s defence barrister, said that he had been in custody for a total of four months and had used this time wisely to complete an addiction detox. She added, “He has had a crack cocaine and heroin habit since the age of 19. But he knows his offences are all the worse because he was welcomed into the victim’s home by Mr Bradford, who wanted to help him and has been repaid in this way. He has shown to me a huge degree of remorse and contrition.”

Concerns About Loved Ones

You may have concerns about a loved one who appears to be going down the wrong path, like Thomas Archer; if so, then please get in touch with us here at Addiction Helper. We work alongside many treatment centres and clinics in the UK that offer a range of treatments, including addiction detox, which is often the first stage of the recovery process. Our goal is to ensure that every client overcomes their addiction and goes on to lead a happier and healthier life afterwards. If you would like more information or have any queries, then do not hesitate to contact us here today and we would be more than happy to offer our assistance.

Source: ‘Despicable’ burglar broke into home of MS sufferer to feed crack addiction (Gloucestershire Live)