A BARNSTAPLE man has admitted to attempting to defraud his mother out of more than £300 after stealing a chequebook belonging to her.
Toby Honey, 31, from Castle Street in Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of fraud at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Ben Winzer, for the prosecution, told the court that Honey committed the offences after he was thrown out of his parents' home earlier this year.
Mr Winzer said: "Earlier this year Mr Honey received a caution for theft from his mother. As a consequence she asked him to leave the property.
"She has been meeting regularly with her son and it was on one such occasion that the incident occurred."
Mr Winzer explained that Honey had taken the cheque book from his mother's handbag, which she had temporarily left with him during a meeting in a Barnstaple café on November 4.
After the incident, Honey was then said to have attempted to submit two cheques written out to himself – one for £70, which was successfully cleared, and one for £250.
Laurence Overend, for the defence, said regular drug use had caused Honey to descend into criminality after leaving university 10 years ago.
He said: "Mr Honey is a young man who had a very promising life ahead of him.
"While an undergraduate he took up drug use. That resulted in a fall off in his studies. Although he completed his studies he failed the course, and began to take legal highs.
"Those legal highs have very much lead to the downfall of Mr Honey recently."
Mr Overend explained how in recent years Honey had received several convictions for theft, including the theft of numerous items from a care home at which he used to work and a bike from his father.
Magistrates decided to adjourn the case until December 20 so a full report on Honey could be produced.
Honey was released on conditional bail, and ordered not to contact or visit his parents.