The ArgusDesperate father: I love my stealing drug addict son (From The Argus)

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Desperate father: I love my stealing drug addict son

A father has told of his despair over his drug addict son repeatedly stealing from him.

Richard Hall said he has been forced to leave his son Andrew to the courts after he had failed to change his ways.

Cocaine addict Andrew Hall, 24, has repeatedly broken into his father's home to steal to pay for drugs.

A court heard yesterday about the torment Hall had caused his father who now no longer feels safe in his own home.

In a victim impact statement Mr Hall said: "For the last ten years I have had problems with him. These have been alcohol and drug related.

"I believe I have brought Andrew up to know the difference between right and wrong.

"I have done everything I can to help him but he has not changed.

"The last time he was in prison I asked the judge if he could be released to go on a drug treatment programme.

"I agreed to have him living with me to assist him the best I could."

Mr Hall said that things went well for about a month before his son began taking drugs and stealing from him again.

His son moved out but on January 14, Mr Hall returned to find his home in Haywards Heath had been broken into but nothing was stolen.

Diane Gordon-Bass, prosecuting, said two days later the house was broken into again and Mr Hall found his son's muddy footprints in the lounge.

He had stolen a brand new £900 LCD television and a £500 projector. The television was later sold for just £200.

In the past his son had stolen money from his bank accounts including £7,000 to buy a car, the court heard.

Mr Hall said: ìAndrew continued to steal from me and went back to using illegal drugs.

"He has no respect for me or other members of his family. He does not seem to care who he steals from.

"I do not feel I am able to help Andrew anymore and am very upset that despite being in prison he has not changed.

"I do not believe he any longer recognises me as a father but just as a means of stealing cash from me.

"I love him very much as he is my son. I have tried everything I can to help him but have failed.

"I realise that tougher measure are needed if he is ever to change, if he even wants to.

"The hopelessness of the situation distresses me. I do not know how to help him.

"I have tried and tried again to help him, as have other members of the family but with no success.

"It is not so much the financial loss that I have suffered but the great sadness of the lack of respect he has for others who have supported him.

"I do feel vulnerable to my son as he has broken into my house while I have slept.

"I do not feel safe as I am aware my son is often under the influence of drugs.

"I do not know what he is capable of doing when he is not in the right frame of mind.

"I now leave it to the courts and hope they are able to help where I have failed in trying to put my son back on the right path."

His son wiped tears from his eyes as Judge David Rennie said:îThat is very sad.î Hall, of Bentswood Road, Haywards Heath, pleaded guilty to the two burglaries at his father's home in January.

He also admitted being in breach of a suspended prison sentence for previous offences.

Martyn Williams, defending, said Hall had started smoking cannabis when he was 12 and was addicted to cocaine by the time he was 17.

He has a 16-month-old son and his current girlfriend is expecting a baby in October.

Mr Williams added: "He wants to use his time in prison positively to address his drug problems.

"He wants to come out and care for his son and the new child on the way."

Andrew Hall was jailed for 12 months for the two burglaries.

He will also have to serve an extra six months of the suspended sentence for earlier offences.

Judge Rennie told him: "It is sad to hear about a relationship between a father and son that has gone wrong.

"All I can do is to express the hope that one day the two of you can rebuild things.

"Bear in mind that when parents are dead and you have not managed to sort it out there can be life-long regret."

If you have more information on this case or any similar stories call the newsdesk on 01273 544519.

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