Gainsborough addicts stole groceries while trying to kick drugs

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.
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Two Gainsborough addicts who stole groceries when their benefits were suspended were trying to turn their lives around because the drugs had “gotten too much for them”, a court has heard.

Sean Brookes, 37, and Rachel Hardy, 34, of Bacon Street, admitted theft when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

They were caught on CCTV stealing £93 of items from the Co-Op, in Misterton, on January 31.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said the pair had been heroin addicts for 20 years, and partners since last December.

“They had both reached the stage where the drugs had gotten too much for them,” he said. “They had supported each other to change.”

He said the thefts were committed when they moved out of Gainsborough last year in a bid to free themselves of drugs, but they ran out of money when their benefits were stopped.

They were now both taking the heroin substitute Subutex.

District judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “I give you credit for the fact you are trying to tackle the drug abuse which has blighted your lives.

“I have sympathy for you, but I have more sympathy with the shopkeepers who face an epidemic of people who feel as if they can take what they want, when they want it.”

Brookes was in breach of a conditional discharge he received in December 2016, for theft, and he was given a sixteen week sentence, suspended for two years.

Hardy was given a two year conditional discharge. They were both ordered to pay court costs of £85 and compensation to the store.