Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Man stole charity box in aid of deaf children

'For obvious reasons we will never know the true amount, but the barber shop owner said it had been three-quarters full'

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

Man stole charity box in aid of deaf children

A NEWBURY man has received a suspended jail sentence for stealing a charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children.

He would have gone straight to prison but for his early guilty plea, said a district judge.

In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court last Thursday was convicted burglar Michael Higor Da Silva, who lives at Northway.

Matthew Gauntlett, prosecuting, said 37-year-old Mr Da Silva walked into a barber’s shop in Newbury town centre at around 3.50pm.

He added: “He waited until no staff were present on the shop floor.

“He then took the charity box, hid it under his clothing and walked out.”

Mr Da Silva was identified from CCTV footage and later tried to claim the box contained no more than £7.

But Mr Gauntlett urged the court not to take his word for it and added: “For obvious reasons we will never know the true amount, but the barber shop owner said it had been three-quarters full and that he had been putting a fair bit of money in himself.

“The defendant told police he stole it because he owed people money.”

On another occasion, the court heard, Mr Da Silva went to Tesco in Newbury and stole a Panasonic DVD player worth £79.99.

Mr Gauntlett said: “He went into the store around 11.30pm, went to the electrical aisle and removed the security tag from the item.

“He then concealed it in a bag and walked out without attempting to pay.”

The court heard that Mr Da Silva was again recognised from CCTV footage and on being arrested told police he had been “high” at the time and had no recollection of committing the offences.

Mr Da Silva admitted stealing the charity box in aid of the Mary Hare School for deaf children, based at Snelsmore, on March 14.

He also admitted stealing the DVD player on January 23.

Mr Da Silva also has previous convictions, including burglary.

Simon Hammudi, defending, said his client came from a “very troubled background” and added: “He was an alcoholic at 12 years; by 15 years he was addicted to heroin.”

He added: “He doesn’t drink alcohol any more, but he is still addicted to heroin.

“He has a prescription and now takes 65ml of [heroin substitute] methadone a day.

“I would ask the court to defer sentence to allow him to continue treatment at Swanswell [a substance misuse organisation].”

But district judge Nigel Hodkinson said: “I’m not persuaded to defer sentence.”

Turning to Mr Da Silva he said: “I could have sent you straight to prison today.

“However, you pleaded guilty and the probation service say you are attending appointments when they tell you to.

“But even with all that help, and a methadone prescription, you still stole things.”

He sentenced Mr Da Silva to eight weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

In addition he was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £115.

Finally, Mr Da Silva was ordered to pay £20 compensation for the stolen charity box.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on Newbury Weekly News

Characters left: 1000

Article comments

  • Sarcastic neighbour

    16/04/2019 - 12:12

    Another repeat offender not sent to prison, our justice system is an absolute joke. It's no wonder criminals from all over the world set up camp here, there is no deterrent to stop them when judges give out piss poor sentences.


    • EugeneStryker

      17/04/2019 - 10:10

      You think that heroin addicted Mr Da Silva traveled from Spain (for arguments sake because his last name sounds a bit Spanish-y) to the UK to steal £80 DVD players and charity money boxes because he took the time to research the sentence he might receive in the event of being caught? Have you ever wondered to yourself whether there has been any research done on whether the severity of punishments does much to deter crime?


  • boris

    16/04/2019 - 11:11

    It’s not race that is being brought into question it’s wether he is an immigant and how bout you swearing in print. If he is an immigrant yes custodial and deported or just deported save us money


  • NewburyLad

    16/04/2019 - 07:07

    It's not clear from the article if he is British born or yet another imported crime wave. We should be told.


  • Louise


    16/04/2019 - 07:07

    With his record, he should have been imprisoned & then deported at end of term. He's clearly a habitual offender and contributes nothing to society.


    • DavidHameron

      16/04/2019 - 10:10

      Why do you fucking idiots have to bring race into everything?


      • NewburyLad

        16/04/2019 - 16:04

        @DaveHameron - Absolutely no mention of race! Why are you lefties always so quick to play the 'race card' on any issue where crime and immigration are mentioned? Go on, call me a Nazi now I just know you are itching to. People like you are the main reason for so many of the the problems in the UK now - your heads are firmly either stuck up your ass or in the sand.


      • grumpy

        16/04/2019 - 15:03

        Have you seen him mate ??


        • sayitasitis

          16/04/2019 - 15:03

          Maybe fed up with foreigners being let in and repaying us by causing crime? Just saying........