Sompting man banned from knocking on neighbours’ doors because of ‘relentless’ offending

A ‘relentless’ offender who stole neighbours’ property to fund his drug habit has been banned from knocking on doors and entering flats in Sompting.

Monday, 18th January 2021, 12:09 pm

District Judge Claire Evans imposed a three-year Criminal Behaviour Order against Gary Hocking, of Millfield, at Horsham Magistrates’ Court at a hearing last month.

The 33-year-old is well known in the Sompting area for burglary, drug use and anti-social behaviour, Judge Evans wrote.

She added Hocking has taken advantage of vulnerable residents by gaining access to their properties and stealing their belongings to sell on so he can fund his habit. The Millfield resident also has various previous convictions for burglaries, violent crimes and theft.

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Hocking has previously ignored a Community Protection Warning imposed on him. He was then issued with a Community Protection Notice, which he breached seven times within a few months.

Through co-operation with Adur & Worthing Councils and Adur Homes, Sussex Police presented the required evidence at court to prove a Criminal Behaviour Order was necessary to prevent further criminal behaviour from Hocking.

Judge Evans wrote: “His offending is relentless, intolerable and impacting on many persons living in the same area as him. Criminal behaviour will continue unless this order is imposed.”

Under the order, Hocking is banned from entering any flats in Millfield or Busticle Lane, barring his own flat and one other.

He is also banned from attempting to enter any flats in either road, including by knocking on doors or windows or ringing doorbells.

The order lasts for three years. Any breach of the order without reasonable excuse can be punished with a fine or up to five years in prison.

Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur District Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Many thanks to the hard work of our antisocial behaviour team, Adur Homes and Sussex Police for obtaining this order.

“This result shows we are serious about protecting community safety and ensuring Adur residents feel secure in their homes. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order against Gary Hocking, who has blighted the community over several months with offences such as theft, burglary and antisocial behaviour in the Millfield and Busticle Lane areas of Sompting.

“Specifically, he has taken advantage of vulnerable people on numerous occasions in order to steal items and sell them on to fund his drug habit.

“This is completely unacceptable behaviour, and we hope this order – which prevents him from further offending in the area – will help the local community to feel safe and protected.”