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Last Updated: Friday, 25 November 2005, 14:18 GMT
Sex toy thief wins Asbo reduction
Isles of Scilly
Women from the islands had to identify their possessions
A builder who stole knickers and sex toys from women on the Scilly Isles has won a reduction in his seven-year ban from visiting the islands.

Two judges at the Court of Appeal in London ruled the Anti-Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) imposed in the case of Andrew Stephan was "too long".

Mr Justice Gray and Mrs Justice Dobbs reduced the length to just two years.

The two years will run from August 15 this year, the date Stephan, 42, was sentenced at Truro Crown Court.

Prior to a retrial, the father of two, formerly of Telegraph Street on the island of St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly, pleaded guilty in July to 10 counts of theft over a four-to five-year period.

Orders of this kind have to be proportionate
Mrs Justice Dobbs
Mrs Justice Dobbs, giving the Appeal Court's ruling on Friday, said: "In our view the making of an order was right in principle... There is clear evidence that the appellant acted in an anti-social way.

"His course of conduct had, without doubt, caused alarm and distress to those women in that small community."

The real question was the length and scope of the Asbo, she said, adding that "orders of this kind have to be proportionate".

Reducing the length of the Asbo to two years, Mrs Justice Dobbs said: "That is bearing in mind the fact that this appellant has been off the island for a period approaching two years."

She said access to his children "now takes place on the mainland".

The court heard that Stephan lives in Penzance, Cornwall, with his new partner.

At the Crown Court, prosecutor Barrie van den Berg said Stephan told police in interview that he stole women's underwear from washing lines on the island.

Llewellyn Sellick, defending, said Stephan was a man with no previous convictions who felt "deeply ashamed" by what he had done.

Knickers thief banned from Scilly
15 Aug 05 |  Cornwall
Builder guilty of sex toys theft
18 Jul 05 |  Cornwall

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