Thief stole to fund crack cocaine habit

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A thief who went back to crime after a two-year gap did it to fund a crack cocaine habit, Burnley magistrates heard.

The court was told how Gary Bradley (39) stole two candles worth £52.98 from Clintons Cards, but told staff: "Sorry, I have taken this," and then handed the goods back. He wasn't bailed and two months later he stole four mobile phone power banks worth £39.96 from Aldi. He told police he was going to sell them for cigarettes.

Bradley, who has 57 previous theft offences on his record, was last before the court in 2014, but was said to have struck again because of a relapse into drugs over the last few months.

The defendant, of Holmes Square, Burnley, admitted two counts of theft in the town, on July 4th and September 5th. Bradley, who was on licence until last December, is now said to be engaging well with Inspire, the drugs treatment service, which he has attended voluntarily.

He was given a six -month community order, with a six-month drugs rehabilitation programme and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Bradley was fined £10 and must pay an £85 victim surcharge.

David Lawson (defending) said he had not offended for a long time, but committed the offences to fund a crack cocaine habit, which he had recently developed.

The solicitor added: "He says he needs help. His record shows if he is given help, he can keep out of trouble."