Heroin addict asked to be locked up

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A prolific shoplifter who asked to be locked up got his wish when he was jailed for 20 weeks.

Heroin addict Andrew Leonard went on a spree, pinching meat, coffee and clothing, worth hundreds of pounds and repeatedly striking at the same stores, Burnley magistrates were told.

Leonard, who has a long record and has been to prison before, was on licence at the time. None of the property was recovered.

The court was told the 49-year-old defendant struck at Matalan, Tesco, Farmfoods and the Co-op in Colne, between February 18th and 25th. He stole seven more times between March 16th and March 29th and also on two further occasions. Leonard now faces being made the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order.

Mr Nick Dearing (defending) said he committed the offences on licence. The defendant wanted the court to impose custody. He intended to use his time in prison wisely, with a view to getting himself back on a prescription and having settled plans for his release.

Mr Dearing told the Bench: "He is aware that you will see the volume of the offending, rather than looking at him necessarily."

The solicitor said Leonard's offences usually had no aggravating features. They weren't planned. He would walk in a shop and out, make full and frank admissions to the police and plead guilty at the first opportunity. He was struggling rather than somebody who just disregarded the law.

Mr Dearing added: "He says at this moment in time he has such a lack of stability that he cannot cope and would wish to return to custody."

Leonard, of Cleveland Street, Colne, admitted 15 counts of theft and one attempted theft.