Sweet-toothed thieves who stole chocolate given help for drug problems

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.
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A pair of sweet-toothed shoplifters who were banned from Mansfield shops for stealing chocolate have been given help to tackle their drug problems.

Gary Morley, 48, and Ella Pickaver, 36, both of Shireoaks Court, Mansfield, appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Morley admitted stealing £40 of chocolate from Poundland, on June 27, and £42 from B&M Bargains, on Stockwell Gate, on July 11.

His partner, Ella Pickaver, admitted stealing £20 of chocolate from Poundland on June 7, £15 from the same store on June 15 and £28 on June 24, as well as £42 from B&M Bargains on July 11.

Morley and Pickaver both denied stealing £7.50 of chocolate from Superdrug, on July 25, but the charge, which had been scheduled for trial on October 17, was discontinued.

They were both banned from entering any retail premises in Mansfield town centre or St Peter’s Retail Park, except to collect methadone prescriptions from a chemist on Wood Lane.

Sarah Neale said both of them had drug issues, and were taking methadone.

“Unfortunately, because of the drugs, their income doesn’t make ends meet,” she said.

They were given an 18-month comunity order, with a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement and a six day rehabilitation activity requirement which would give them help budgeting.

District Judge Tim Spruce said: “I understand how difficult it is to come off heroin. No one says you must come off overnight. But the court expects to see some progress.”

He told them to return for a review on October 20, and ordered them to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and compensation.