A TEENAGE father from Bean who went on an “offending spree” has been told he will spend Christmas away from his newborn daughter.

Lewis Smith, 19, was sentenced to more than five months in a young offenders’ institution after he admitted stealing a £600 rotavator, used for turning soil, from Drudgeon Farm in Bean.

Dartford Magistrates’ Court heard that within weeks of taking the machinery between August 27 and 29 Smith also stole a strimmer from a shed at the Foxwood Road allotments in Bean.

On October 28 he pleaded guilty to stealing the device which the owner caught him using within hours of reporting the theft to police on September 16.

Prosecutor Gareth Nicholl told the court: “A short while after reporting the theft to police, the owner of the strimmer saw a male using it a short distance from the allotment in Beacon Drive.

“Officers attended and saw Mr Smith holding the strimmer before he dropped it and ran into the garden of a nearby address.

“Police searched his back garden and found the strimmer, rotavator and three stolen pedal cycles.”

The teenager’s room was searched and dozens of other stolen items were found including six radios and a PlayStation as well as a small amount of cannabis.

Mitigating for Smith, Mukhtiar Singh told magistrates his client had recently come out of prison for a previous offence when he went on his “offending spree”.

He said: “I ask you to consider whether in light of his offending spree since coming out of prison whether that sentence was effective.

“In the last few days his child was born prematurely and is still in Darent Valley Hospital.

“There is an opportunity here - the birth of a child and perhaps the birth of a future.”

Magistrates sentenced unemployed Smith, who the court heard has Asperberger’s and ADHD, to 160 days in a young offenders’ institution for the two burglaries.

They also took into account 11 offences for handling stolen goods in relation to the items found in Smith’s home.

Magistrate Deborah Read said: “I hope when you get out you can have a fresh start and I’m sure you are very remorseful that you can’t be with your child this Christmas.”

A male relative of Smith, of Beacon Drive, Bean, told the magistrate to “shut up” after the verdict was read.

Are you a friend or family member of Smith? Call 01689 885702, e-mail tim.macfarlan@london.newsquest.co.uk or tweet @NewsShopperTim