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Drug addict stole after methadone dose cut by mistake

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A drug addict with more than 50 convictions stole from three stores in a bid to buy heroin after his methadone prescription was cut by mistake, a court heard.

CCTV recorded Luke Tomlinson taking a £15 bottle of Bacardi from a newsagents on Chesterfield Road, Pleasley, on January 20.

He removed security tags from three pairs of jogging bottoms, worth £96, at the Original Factory Shop, Kirkby, on January 24, but was challenged by staff. He was later found and the items were recovered.

On February 1, staff at Tesco in Alfreton saw him take three bottles of cognac, worth £84, and when police arrested him, he explained he sold them to someone in a pub.

Tomlinson, 34, of New England Way, Pleasley, admitted three counts of theft when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

The court heard he has 57 convictions from 137 offences on his record and he was on a community order for theft, imposed in January, at the time of the offences.

Mark Stocks, mitigating, said he had a “significant number of convictions for low level matters of dishonesty” to fund his heroin addiction.

“These offences came about after the decision was made to reduce his methadone prescription to a very low level, which forced him to use street heroin.

“As a consequence of the error made, the prescription has now been doubled.”

He said Tomlinson’s engagement with the probation service had been good.

Probation officer Cheryl Nisbet said Tomlinson recently lost a pub job when his boss read about one of his court appearances in the paper.

She said he was welcome to continue living with his dad if he is able to show negative drug tests and that he is taking steps to tackle his problems.

Magistrates revoked his current order and imposed a total of 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, along with a 90 day curfew, between 8pm to 6am.

Tomlinson must also complete a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement.

He was ordered to pay £99 compensation, as well as a £100 government surcharge, but no costs were awarded.