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Last chance for shoplifting Keresley drug addict

Website: Coventry Telegraph
Date: 13/05/2010
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A DRUG addict, who was so out of it he thought police officers were the Jesus Army, has been given one last chance to get clean.

The man, 43, from Borrowdale Close, Keresley, had been tracked down by police after he had snatched £150 of clothes from Marks & Spencer in Coventry centre.

When they arrested him he was in a state of “confusion”. He later tested positive for cocaine and opiates.

At Coventry Crown Court yesterday Judge Peter Ross could have activated a long-standing suspended sentence put in place for another offence, but he chose to give the man one final chance to get clean.

“Enough is enough,” Judge Ross said, after sentencing the man to a 12-month community order preventing him from owning or consuming class A drugs.

“If you breach this order you will be coming to see me. There are no more second chances.

“In the future, one breach of this order and I will send you to prison. It's as simple and straightforward as that.”

the man suffers from an unusual medical disorder known as neurofibromatosis which leads to harmless tumours growing on his body.

But his medical condition has not inhibited his drug taking and Judge Ross added: “I have been conducting (the man's) drug reviews over a number of months.

“And every time you produce a positive test you put it down to a moment of weakness.

“But I have no doubt you committed this theft to raise money for drugs. I'm absolutely certain of it.”

the man stole the clothes on January 7. He walked into the store and headed straight for the Per Una section and started stuffing a bag with items from the shop's discount rail worth £150.

Prosecutor Glyn Samuel said: “He was observed acting suspiciously by staff .

When he saw that he had been spotted he ducked down and got up again, before starting to walk towards the staff member and the exit. He carried on coming and she thought he might hit her, although his fists were never raised.”

Police arrested him on January 20 after identifying him on CCTV.

Mr Samuel added: “He said to the police on arrest “Am I going to the Jesus Army now?”

In interview he said he couldn't remember what he was doing at the time but stated he had not stolen any goods as he had no need to steal.”