HUNSTANTON: Heroin addict thief at ‘last chance saloon’
A prolific thief and long-term heroin addict is in the “last chance saloon” after being given a suspended prison sentence.
Billy Edge was jailed for four weeks, suspended for 12 months, at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Friday after stealing joints of meat and toys five days before Christmas.
The court heard the 35-year-old was already on an intensive offender management scheme to prevent re-offending, and a drug rehabilitation order, but shows “no signs of trying to address his problems”.
Prosecutor Yvonne Neill said he was also continuing to take heroin, despite being on a high-level methadone heroin-replacement prescription.
Presiding magistrate Stuart Hall told Edge: “Your habit, not just your drug habit but your theft habit as well, is becoming more and more prevalent, and in our view your offending is so serious that only imprisonment will do.”
The bench revoked all existing community orders and replaced them with the suspended prison sentence, and warned him that any more offences would land him straight in jail.
Mr Hall said: “A lot of people are going to an awful lot of trouble to help you and what are you doing about it? Nothing. That’s got to change. If you don’t you know where you are going to end up.”
Edge, of Park Road, Hunstanton, admitted stealing £31.80 worth of meat from Iceland in Lynn, and £80.91 worth of toys from Beales, both on December 20, when he appeared in court.
Ms Neill said Edge was seen putting the meat into a bag in Iceland, but only paid for ice cream, at the checkout.
He was stopped as he left the store and when staff checked the bag, they also found toys that had been stolen from Beales.
In mitigation, Claire Williamson said Edge had been trying to resist the urge to “take a hit of heroin” on that day and decided to take Valium and drink some beer instead.
She said: “It was a nasty cocktail and from that point onwards he doesn’t really remember anything.”
She told magistrates that sending Edge immediately to prison would stop him taking drugs, but he would be back to “square one” on his release.
She said: “He needs to address his drug problem not only to benefit him but the community at large. A suspended sentence would be the last chance saloon.”
The suspended sentence also includes a new six-month drug rehabilitation order and 12 months supervision.
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