A thief who assaulted and stole thousands of dollars from a vulnerable neighbour was allowed to avoid prison because he is transitioning.
Kyle Jay Andrew of Truro, Cornwall was assured he would not be sent to jail immediately despite his “despicable offences.”
Judge Robert Linford explained to the Truro Crown Court that the ‘extremely unusual’ decision was taken because the 26-year-old must be housed in a women’s jail at now. Andrew’s defence attorney contended that this would negatively impact his mental health and postpone his transition by months, if not years.
The court heard that Andrew had stolen a total of £3,000 from his neighbour, but he only admitted to stealing £1,500, saying the rest were ‘legitimate gifts’
Katie Churcher, the prosecutor, said that Andrew provided a long list of explanations for why he needed the money from his vulnerable neighbour. This includes the need for a locksmith, a train ticket, a medical emergency, and a relocation to Manchester.
Andrew was fueling his drug addiction by purchasing cannabis and cocaine and paying off debts with drug dealers.
At April of last year, the victim was in his Truro apartment when he received a call from Andrew, who sounded quite distraught. Andrew was met outside by a neighbour, and the two went to Lloyds Bank in the city. Here, the neighbour withdrew money before calling the police.
The next morning, Andrew attempted to enter his neighbor’s apartment by ringing the doorbell and waking him up. Concerned, he requested that Andrew leave him alone.
Four days later, however, the neighbour was again awakened by sounds in his apartment and discovered Andrew in the corridor. He informed the victim that he need £100 and would not go until he obtained it. In an attempt to seize the neighbor’s phone, he struck the neighbor’s face with his fist.
Emily Cooke, in her defence, said that Andrew’s terrible upbringing led to mental health concerns and a drug addiction.
During the execution of the crimes, Andrew was under the influence of cocaine and crack cocaine.
She said that he also had problems with his gender, and that going to jail “would deepen that significant psychological issue.”
Andrew “lived as a man since the age of 16,” but chose to make the change a few years later.
However, he was denied access due to his mental illness and drug usage.
Ms. Cooke said that Andrew was diagnosed with gender dysphoria last year and would soon begin freezing his eggs and taking hormones.
Both sentences were suspended for two years and were to be served consecutively.
The court did not impose a separate punishment for assault, but he did issue a restraining order prohibiting Andrew from having any contact with the victim for the next five years.