A Devon and Cornwall welterweight amateur boxing champion blamed his addiction to heroin for crimes that included snatching a handbag from a 74-year-old woman in the street.

At Truro Magistrates' Court Travis Kaute, aged 25, of St John's Court, Wood Street, Penzance, was sent to prison for 24 weeks.

He pleaded guilty to being concerned with another man in burglary at Clarendon Imports in Market Jew Street, Penzance, burglary at a hairdresser's next door, and asked for burglary at Costcutter in Market Jew Street to be taken into account.

Gail Hawksley, for the CPS, said on March 5 Kaute had snatched the handbag of a 74-year-old lady walking near Alexandra Road, in Penzance, and then ran off with it. But he had been seen by a taxi driver who recognised him. After both the woman and the taxi driver gave chase he was eventually caught. He told the police he had a heroin habit costing him £20 a day and needed money to score.

While on bail for that offence he went into Costcutters, smashing his way out through the front to avoid detection.

In the early hours of March 9 he and another man broke into the hairdresser's, then making a large hole in a wall between the two properties to get into Clarendon Imports next door. Cash taken from the till there amounted to £380, and damage to the two properties totalled £2,000.

Evidence showed they had used lit candles and wax was found on Kaute's clothing.

They planned to split the property taken the following day, but the other man fell several feet through the hole they had made, suffering serious injuries, from which he was still in hospital.

Terry Eastwood, for Kaute, who had previous convictions, said he was a part-time fisherman but also an extremely good boxer. He had been schoolboy champion for Devon and Cornwall and in 2011 became amateur welterweight champion for Devon and Cornwall. Working with Camborne Amateur Boxing Club he had plans to turn professional at the end of this year.

“In 2010 he vowed to give up his life style and concentrate on boxing,” said Mr Eastwood. “The following year he became welterweight champion for Devon and Cornwall. More recently he slipped into the use of heroin having been introduced to it by acquaintances and it very quickly got a grip on him. When he was on job seeker's allowance he could cope with buying it, but when he ran out of money and had a desire for the drug he resorted to crime.”

He was sorry for stealing from the elderly lady which had been a spur of the moment thing.

He now wanted help to get rid of his drug addiction.

The magistrates told him that £70 seized from him on his arrest was to be paid to the elderly lady as compensation.