Drug addict steals to seek help for habit

PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 October 2010

ST GEORGES COURTHOUSE

ST GEORGES COURTHOUSE

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A DRUG addict from Weston stole from a shop so he would be given professional help for his habit.

David Horn took £42 worth of copper piping from Proper Job in Worle High Street on September 29 after his methadone prescription was stopped by a drug agency.

The 30-year-old pleaded guilty to the theft when he appeared at North Somerset Courthouse on Monday.

Becky Gardner, prosecuting, said Horn, of Bideford Road, told police after he was arrested that the theft was a ‘cry for help’.

She added: “He wanted help for addiction and by being arrested he would be admitted to a drug rehabilitation centre.”

Judith Mills, defending, said Horn was, at one point, a ‘regular attendee’ of the courts but he had recently turned his life around and was receiving help from a drug agency.

However six weeks before the theft his methadone prescription was stopped because he missed two scheduled agency appointments within a six-month period.

She said: “He went to the Addiction Recovery Agency (ARA) to ask if he could be put back on the scheme and was told he could get no help immediately and there was at least a six-month waiting list.

“He was told by them if he was an offender he would get on the scheme much more quickly.

“He wasn’t impressed by that advice. He went to probation and asked could they help him and they told him virtually the same – there was nothing on a voluntary basis but if convicted they may be able to help.”

Horn then decided to steal from the shop and after he was arrested, he received a visit from an ARA representative and his methadone prescription was reinstated.

Mrs Mills added: “He struggles with addiction. He knows that and that is why he needs the support from drug agencies.”

Horn was handed a 12-month community order, and was ordered to pay £42 in compensation and £85 costs.

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