Heroin addict stole fuel from garages

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

A thief who stole almost £700 worth of fuel from garages in Burnley, Nelson and Colne and claimed he sold it on to Pendle taxi drivers has been made a “prisoner” in his own home.

Heroin addict Michael Callum McCool (27) had needed cash to finance his addiction, which had been costing him about £500 a week at the time. He had claimed he had a ready market for the fuel, a court was recently told.

Burnley magistrates heard how father-of-two McCool started taking the drug when he was about 20, gave up, but had relapsed twice, the second time after the death of his grandfather.

McCool, whose actions have led to his partner and children leaving the family home, had been given a community order to help him get his life back together but has now been back in court for flouting it a second time.

The defendant, of Kelbrook, admitted failing to comply with the order. It had earlier been imposed after he pleaded guilty to nine counts of making off without payment between January 7th and February 13th, totalling £676.12. He had earlier received a six month community order with the drugs rehabilitation requirement and an eight week curfew, between 7pm and 7am.

In his recent trial, McCool was spared jail and received a 12 week curfew, between 9pm and 7am, when the bench revoked the community order and re-sentenced the defendant.

Geoff Ireland, in mitigation, told the latest hearing McCool started taking heroin seven years ago and was still probably using about £10 worth a day. The solicitor added: “He has still got a problem with drugs. It can only get better from here.”