Hornchurch youth in Poppy tins theft locked up for ignoring sentence

�An 18-year-old who stole two Poppy collection boxes from the Hornchurch Royal British Legion has been sent to a young offenders’ institution after failing to comply with the community sentence he was given.

Billy Dooley, of Keswick Avenue, Hornchurch, was originally sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order on January 4 for the offences. But he was back at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on April 12 for not turning up for supervision meetings or unpaid work.

When he was 17, Dooley stole two Poppy tins from the High Street club on dates in January and March last year.


He also stole a cash box with �50 in, and bottles of alcoholic drinks, two iPods, an iPod docking system and a box of smoking papers, from the club on March 8 2011.

Earlier this month he was committed to a young offenders’ institution for 12 weeks, by magistrates in Barkingside.

David King, the President of the Hornchurch Royal British Legion, said that after a spate of thefts by different culprits last year, the club had improved its security and moved its tins to a different location.

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He added: “People who steal from the legion are stealing from the welfare of the men who’ve given all for the freedom we enjoy today.

“These men put their lives on the line and many of them gave their lives.

“We’re helping to look after the widows – they’re stealing from them too.”