‘Downward spiral’ ended in prison

Nottingham Magistrates' Court
Nottingham Magistrates' Court

The fall from grace of a Hucknall man was likened by his solicitor in court to the plot of the film, ‘Trading Places’.

The 1983 movie, starring Eddie Murphy, charts the decline of a respectable businessman who becomes embroiled in a world of crime.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that Paul Evans (36), of Goodall Crescent, went on a similar “downward spiral” that led to him spending the New Year holiday in prison.

Bill Soughton (defending) described how Evans’s “whole life fell apart”, and he ended up in “a squalid lifestyle”, committing crimes. He said: “It’s a real shame because he had completely rebuilt his life after getting into trouble regularly in his younger days. He got married, had two children, gained a good job, earning £500 a week, and got on the property ladder. But things started to go wrong when he and his wife split up and his father died, which hit him badly.”

Mr Soughton said Evans started drinking and drug-taking again and suffered from depression. When he was involved in an accident which wrote off his car, he was “tipped over the edge” because he couldn’t get to work. Mr Soughton said “After he lost his job and so had no money coming in, he started using class A drugs.”

Evans also turned to shoplifting and after he was arrested for stealing Lego, worth £49.99, from a store in Nottingham on Sunday 30th November, he was found with cocaine on him. Five days later, he stole a bottle of amaretto liqueur and a beef ready-meal, worth £16.85, from the Tesco Extra superstore in Hucknall. And on Sunday 28th December, he stole DVDs worth £107, from a store in Chesterfield.

Mr SOughton said: “When he last appeared in court on 30th December, he felt he wasn’t stable enough and asked to be remanded in custody. But now, after treatment and medication, he can see a path forward and is positive about his future.”

Evans pleaded guilty to three charges of theft and one of cocaine possession. Magistrates gave him a community order of 12 months, and he must take part in a drug-rehabilitation programme.