Drug addict shoplifter ‘stole to order’

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A heroin addict who repeatedly went out shoplifting told police he “stole to order” as he owed a lot of money, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Darren Smith (35) struck at B and M Bargains, Home Bargains and at WH Smith in Burnley, between September and December and committed the last offence on bail. He was identified from CCTV footage. None of the hauls had been recovered.

Smith carried out the thefts before he was sentenced to a community order and drugs programme and his solicitor told the hearing Smith had now “turned his life around,” and would stay out of trouble.

Smith, of Piccadilly Square, Burnley, admitted theft of alcohol and electrical goods worth £29.78, theft of DVDs worth nearly £40, theft of nine DVDs worth £99.91 and stealing toiletries to the value of £15.

The defendant was ordered to pay compensation and was given a four-week curfew, between 8pm and 8am. He must pay a £60 victim surcharge.

Miss Tracy Yates (prosecuting) said when Smith was interviewed on December 14th he said he had borrowed money to buy heroin. He told police he used a lot of heroin at the time and had to shoplift to fund his habit. He had 23 offences on his record, 14 of them for theft.

Mr Richard Taylor (defending) said Smith had self-referred to Inspire (the substance treatment service) and took daily medication.

The defendant had previously received a drugs rehabilitation requirement, supervision and unpaid work and the offences pre-dated the sentence.