Homeless man jailed for stealing dummies from babies’ mouths

A homeless man who stole dummies from babies’ mouths has been jailed for 14 months.

Josh Guilder took the soothers from five youngsters around Harlow in Essex between February 10 and August 7 last year.

The 23-year-old’s lawyer said at an earlier hearing that he was living in a tent and “has never been weaned from dummies”.

Mary Buxton, defending, told Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court last August that Guilder “uses a dummy to soothe himself”.

“He said he would take the dummy, then go and sit in the tent and use the dummy,” she said, describing the thefts as “purely acquisitive”.

Essex Police said on Thursday that Guilder was convicted at an earlier hearing of five counts of theft, three counts of common assault, and a public order offence.

The force said the defendant was arrested on August 15 last year after police released an image of a man they wanted to speak to in connection with the incidents.

Guilder was sentenced at Colchester Magistrates’ Court to 14 months in prison, Essex Police said, with the hearing taking place on February 2.

Chief Inspector Paul Austin, District Commander for Harlow, said: “I know these incidents caused concern in our community and I’m pleased we’ve been able to identify the person responsible and hold him accountable.”