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A Dover thief who welched on a deal with a judge to return a child's stolen TV is finally behind bars.
Jay Bates, 20, had been facing a two-month home curfew when he offered to hand back the television to the distraught 10-year-old.
His pledge from the dock at Canterbury Crown Court led to the suspension of the judge's order for a month.
But the equipment was never returned and Bates, of Glenfield Road, twice failed to show up for hearings to explain why.
Now Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl has been told the thief could not make the last court hearing – because he was in another court on yet one more burglary charge.
Bates, who had been given a 12-month suspended jail sentence for the earlier raid, is expected to plead guilty and has been remanded in custody.
"The restoration of stolen property can sometimes help victims... but that doesn't seem to have happened here..." - Judge Nigel Van Der Bijl
And that would trigger the "three-strike" sentencing rule, which means he faces a mandatory jail sentence of at least three years.
Bates was remanded in custody awaiting a new hearing after the judge told him: "The restoration of stolen property can sometimes help victims.
"It is also an opportunity for defendants to show remorse – but that doesn't seem to have happened here."
Bates had broken into the house in Pardoner's Way, Dover, and stolen a 32-inch TV belonging to the child.
The child's mother had revealed in a victim impact statement that he was now too afraid to sleep in his bedroom after the burglary on October 2 last year.
Bates had admitted the daytime break-in at the house while the family were out.
He had also been told do 250 hours of unpaid work for the community.
But Bates then stunned the court when he spoke from the dock during his sentencing hearing two months ago, asking: "Can I say one thing? Could I return the telly?"
The judge replied: "Did you say: 'Could you return the telly?' Have you got it?"
Bates answered: "I know where it is", before the judge told him: "I think that would be an excellent idea."
He then told him the home electronically tagged curfew order would be scrapped if the stolen TV was returned to the victim within a month.
That never happened and Bates has never been subject to the tagging.
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