Addict pleads for jail

PUBLISHED: 09:01 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:36 25 May 2010

A HEROIN addict who said he had been 'robbing the whole town' begged to be sent to prison - but will be free to steal again in seven days.

A HEROIN addict who said he had been 'robbing the whole town' begged to be sent to prison - but will be free to steal again in seven days.

Despite threatening to restart his life of crime the moment he leaves jail, magistrates decided to lock up Lee Clark for a mere fortnight.

Clark gave up the keys to his property in Weston's Alfred Street on Tuesday, hoping he would be sent to prison yesterday (Wed) after a hearing at North Somerset Courthouse in St Georges.

But when he heard his sentence for breaching an order for unpaid work was only 14 days in prison, which is likely to be reduced to seven for good behaviour, he begged magistrates to lock him up for longer.

Clark, aged 36, said he wanted to kick his drug habit in prison and would end up upsetting more people and shoplifting if he was only jailed for a short period.

Sue Baker, defending, said: "Mr Clark refused to do unpaid work, won't do a community order and says the only option is prison.

"He is a heroin addict and his life is in tatters.

"This life has gone down hill since splitting from his girlfriend and the only alternative is custody."

The unpaid work requirement had been imposed by the probation service for a previous charge of shoplifting from Marks & Spencer on October 17.

When he overheard magistrates discussing a community order or curfew Clark said: "I was living in Alfred Street but gave up my keys so I have no fixed abode.

"I am robbing this town every day to survive."

Chairman of the bench Nicky McClure replied: "We have to give you a sentence which is proportionate to the offence, so that was our difficulty."

Clark interrupted to say: "I have destroyed so many peoples' lives around here and I want some help."

Having heard this, magistrates decided that a 14-day prison sentence was more appropriate.

But Clark said: "That is no good, I will come out and do it again.

"I hope you understand what you have done. I will be back in seven days' time."

As he was being led out of court he was heard to say: "This is f***ing pointless.

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