Wisbech teenager tells dad ‘I’ve turned my life around’ before committing offence

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A teenager told his estranged Wisbech dad he had turned his life around – before he and a mate sped off in his step-mum’s car.

Reece Lennox – who was jailed for a separate matter last week – took a friend with him when he went to see his father and step-mother for the first time in five years, Lynn magistrates heard.

But within moments of saying goodbye, the two boys had driven away in the step-mum’s car.

The Toyota Rav 4 vehicle was later found dumped in Lynn with a burnt-out clutch.

Lennox, 18, of St Edmundsbury Road, North Lynn, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court for sentence on Friday having previously admitted being carried in a vehicle taken without the owner’s consent on August 16. He claimed it had been driven by his friend, who has never been identified.

The unemployed youth had also previously admitted three offences of theft, committed while on bail for the motoring offence.

On September 21 he stole £35 worth of meat from Sainsbury’s in Lynn, and on September 22 he took a quantity of meat from Asda and safety boots worth £39.99 from Wickes, both in Lynn.

Lennox, who has nine previous convictions for theft, appeared in court in custody having been sentenced to five-months in prison at Norwich Crown Court the previous day for possessing an offensive weapon.

Prosecutor Fergus Harold said when Lennox went to his father and step-mother’s home in Wisbech it was the first time he had seen them in five years.

He said: “They sat in the garden having a drink and the defendant told his father he was turning his life around and had stopped getting into trouble with the police.

“They left and shortly after leaving the step-mum heard her car engine and joked ‘I hope he hasn’t taken my car’. They went outside and noticed the car was missing from the drive.

“The car key was also missing. It had been kept inside the front door just where the defendant had been standing with the other male.”

In a statement read to the court, the step-mum said: “He has ruined our lives.

“He gave us a hug and said he’d changed his life and then he goes and steals our car from our drive. He only had to ask if he needed a lift.”

In mitigation, Giles Debenham told the court there was a “very compelling reason” why Lennox had not seen his father for so long.

“His father was not at liberty to see his children for a certain number of years,” he said.

He also urged magistrates to consider, when sentencing, that if the offences had been dealt with at Norwich Crown Court a day earlier, as they could have been, they would not have made much difference to his overall prison sentence.

Lennox was sentenced to nine weeks imprisonment for the motoring offence, and four weeks imprisonment on each of the three thefts, to all run concurrently with his existing five-month custodial sentence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £230 in court costs in his release.