Drunk attempted to steal cactus and flowers from care home

Manson House in Bury St Edmunds.

Darren Hodgson was found in the garden at Manson House care home in Bury - Credit: Archant

A drunken man who tried to steal a cactus and pink geraniums from a Bury St Edmunds care home has been handed 75 hours of unpaid work. 

Magistrates heard how Darren Hodgson, 52, was seen looking into windows at Manson House care home in Northgate Street, Bury, on Tuesday, July 13. 

Some elderly residents at the care home were then disturbed by the sound of someone in the communal area of the home, the court heard. 

Police were called and members of staff told officers that they believed someone was still in the back garden of the property. 

Officers discovered Hodgson in the garden and when he unzipped his jacket, he was found to have a cactus in a pot, and some pink geranium flowers. 

The plant and flowers were taken from a communal area and Hodgson was arrested at 10.30pm. 

Hodgson told officers he could not remember much of what had happened due to being drunk. 

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He said due to his level of intoxication, he had got the wrong address and had randomly taken the plant and flowers, Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, told the court. 

The cactus was recovered but the flowers were damaged, magistrates heard. 

Hodgson, of Olding Road, Bury St Edmunds, who is originally from the north-east and has a number of previous convictions, pleaded guilty to burglary and theft. 

He also admitted breaching post-sentence supervision by missing appointments with the Probation Service. 

Jeremy Kendall, representing Hodgson, said his client had received some bad medical news that morning and decided to have a lot to drink. 

Mr Kendall said Hodgson did not go into anyone's flat and does not know why he was wandering around drunk. 

Having successfully battled drug problems, Hodgson is currently working with rehabilitation charity Turning Point to address his alcohol issues, Mr Kendall added. 

Magistrates handed Hodgson a 12-month community order, with an alcohol treatment requirement. 

He was also ordered to complete 75 hours of unpaid work and fined £80. 

Hodgson will also have to pay £30 towards costs and a victim surcharge of £95. 

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