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Drunk thief awoke to the squeals of stolen guinea pig

By West Briton  |  Posted: October 10, 2013

By Johanna Carr

  • Merlin Quinnan leaving Truro Magistrates' Court.

  • Merlin Quinnan leaving Truro Magistrates' Court. Ref:TRJJ20131003A-002_C

A THIEF who woke up to discover that he had stolen a rabbit and a guinea pig that were running around his room then sold one on Facebook for £10.

At Truro Magistrates' Court, Merlin Quinnan, 21, of Fore Street, Redruth, previously admitted the theft, stealing a mountain bike and four offences of criminal damage to cars and a motorcycle. He asked for three other offences to be taken into account and also breaching a conditional discharge.

On Thursday he was ordered by magistrates to pay compensation to his victims.

Alison May, for the prosecution, said the owner of the guinea pig and the rabbit tried to get her pets back after they were taken from a hutch in her Redruth garden between August 28 and September 1.

She said: "The victim put the message out on Facebook and as a result she was contacted by a witness who had similarly responded to an advert and paid £10 for it [the rabbit]."

The police were called and the animals were returned.

Probation officer Jon Beddow said of Quinnan: "His lifestyle at best can be described as chaotic, at worst as a disaster ... He remembers waking up with rabbits [sic] in his room running around it. He thought they must have been stolen. There's no recollection."

Paul Gallagher, for the defence, said Quinnan started smoking cannabis at 15 and taking heroin at 20. He had to sort himself out and hoped to move in with his pregnant girlfriend soon.

Magistrates sentenced Quinnan to a 12-month community order with an alcoholic treatment requirement for six months.

He was also ordered to pay £210 compensation in total – including £10 to the owner of the rabbit.

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