Northampton underwear and sex toys thief has jail sentence cut

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A thief who was jailed for three years for stealing a school friend's knickers and sex toys has had his sentence almost halved at the Court of Appeal.

Mark Cox, 23, of Heathville, Northampton, took the woman's house keys during a party and later returned to steal from her underwear drawer.

He was jailed for three years after admitting two burglaries and possessing a CS gas canister and a police uniform.

But appeal judges in London have cut his "excessive" sentence to 16 months.

Lord Justice Pitchford, who made the ruling with Mr Justice Openshaw and Judge Anthony Morris QC, said: "We take the view that the appropriate sentence was one of 16 months' imprisonment, having given full credit for his pleas of guilty."

Disgust and puzzlement

The court heard the former hospital porter, who was of previous good character, had been invited to the woman's house party in February when he took her keys.

Cox returned at least twice over the next 10 days, leaving the victim almost completely without underwear, the appeal judge said.

"She found it difficult to believe that someone she thought she knew could have behaved in such a sinister way," he said.

Police visited Cox's home in March and found the woman's property, along with the illegal CS gas spray, which he said had been gathering dust since he bought it in Paris, and the police uniform.

He admitted he had a fetish for the victim's underwear.

On appeal, Cox's lawyers argued the judge at Northampton Crown Court in June had punished him too severely, not having given enough credit for mitigating features, including his mental health issues.

Lord Justice Pitchford said there was no evidence that the victim had suffered psychological harm.

Her attitude to the offences had been "disgust and puzzlement".

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