Asda thief spared jailed after confessing drug addiction

Mansfield Magistrates Court

Mansfield Magistrates Court

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A Sutton thief was spared jail after confessing he was a heroin addict, a court heard.

Donald Gornall, 49, of Caunt’s Crescent, admitted stealing a £40 coat from Asda, on St Nicholas Way, on January 2, and meat worth £8, the next day.

He faced an immediate jail sentence after receiving a suspended sentence for assaulting his sister.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said: “He is seeking help and addressing the problem. The chances of him rehabilitating from drugs in prison are slim to none. He will cope but he won’t do anything constructive.

“He won’t be out of trouble until he gets off drugs.”

He added that Gornall had a cat and dog at home, but had not made any arrangements for their care in the event he was sent to prison.

Sarah Alderton, of the probation service, said “He is currently using £20 of heroin a day and he wants help. The long term plan is to put him into treatment and put him on a methadone prescription.”

On Thursday, at Mansfield Magistrates Court, District Judge Andrew Mechin ruled it would not be “just and equitable” for him to activate the sentence because “this is a different type of offence and he genuinely wants to change.”

He extended the suspended sentence for three months, and gave Gornall a 12 month community order, with a 15 day rehabilitation activity requirement, as well as a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.

He ordered him to pay compensation of £40 and costs of £85.