Defence solicitor wrings his hand in exasperation as he’s called to offer mitigation to man back in court after being given a ‘last chance’.

AN exasperated defence solicitor admitted he had run out of excuses for a Wisbech man caught in possession of stolen lead six days after being given “a last chance” to stay out of jail.

John Clark told Fenland magistrates: “Last time I had an uphill struggle- now that hill is almost vertical.

“He tells me he found the lead at the Queen Mary Centre but he must have known it was stolen because people don’t just leave lead about.”

Dean Hutton was caught with 15 kg of lead stolen from the roof of the community centre on January 5 after receiving a suspended sentence for theft on December 29.

On Tuesday Fenland magistrates’ patience ran out, and Hutton was jailed for a total of 22 weeks.

“You were told on December 29 it was your very last chance and you were given your freedom, but you have now had that chance,” said presiding magistrate Susan Morris.

Hutton, 21, of Wellington Terrace, Wisbech, admitted handling stolen lead on January 5. Last month he had admitted stealing a hooded top worth �25 and magistrates increased his suspended sentence to four months.

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Prosecuting, Andrea Fawcett told how the caretaker of the Queen Mary Centre heard a noise on the roof around 9.15am on January 5. He inspected it and found the lead lining had been pulled away, and some fresh mortar showed lead had been stolen.

Hutton was later questioned by police and the stolen lead was found in his bag.

Mr Clarke said Hutton had no money at the time because his benefits had been stopped and he had been refused a crisis loan.

“He was going to sell the lead to buy food,” added Mr Clarke. “He is a bit of a lost cause. He knows this was his last chance.”

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