Desperate drug addict ordered mum to hand over cash or face having her Wakefield home torched

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A drug addict who continually badgered his mother for money warned her that her Wakefield home would be torched if she didn’t pay up.

Stephen Hobson callously said he also would hurt her pet dog if she did not cough up the cash to keep him in heroin and crack cocaine. Between 2021 and 2024 he “bombarded her with threats” and sent her text messages, prosecutor Carmel Pearson told Leeds Crown Court.

She said his petrified 77-year-old mother was so scared she would keep items near her front door of her Knottingley home to help put out flames, should the threats be carried out. She said she found it difficult to turn him away when he turned up at her home, and felt so downtrodden that she had thoughts of suicide.

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Hobson made repeated threats to his mother if she did not give him money for drugs, including her home being burnt down. (pics by SWNS / National World)Hobson made repeated threats to his mother if she did not give him money for drugs, including her home being burnt down. (pics by SWNS / National World)
Hobson made repeated threats to his mother if she did not give him money for drugs, including her home being burnt down. (pics by SWNS / National World) | SWNS / National World

Held on remand, and appearing in court via video link from HMP Leeds, 46-year-old Hobson admitted stalking his mother with fear of violence.

Mitigating, James Holding said: “He does not seek to justify his behaviour or minimise his actions. In his own words, he knows his mother did the right thing [in contacting the authorities]. Perhaps his best mitigation is his genuine remorse.”

He said that he would approach his mother because he did not want to commit crime to help feed his spiralling drug habit. Mr Holding said that since being held on remand, Hobson had taken “drastic steps” to rid himself of drugs and is now clean. He said he is also not taking any prescribed medication.

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He added that Hobson, of no fixed address was planning to move to Leicester after his release, and had a job lined up.

Judge Tahir Khan KC told Hobson: “It’s clear your behaviour towards your mother was over a significant period of time. What you did was take advantage of your mother. She was forced to give you money that was money she really needed.

“She was continually in fear of violence from you. You are 46 and although you have some convictions your recent record of offending is not significant.”

He gave him 21 months’ jail, suspended for two years, a nine-month drug-rehabilitation requirement, 10 rehabilitation days and a five-year restraining order to keep him away from his mother.

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