A recovering drug-addict is given a chance after he lapsed and resorted to shoplifting

A Holland and Barrett store.
A Holland and Barrett store.

A recovering addict resorted to shoplifting after he had been tempted back into taking drugs.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on November 13 how Mark Reynolds, 45, of Mercaston Close, Holmehall, Chesterfield, stole supplements from Holland and Barrett, at Matlock, and an electric toothbrush from Superdrug, in Matlock.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Lyn Bickley said: “The defendant attended Superdrug and walked to the rear of the store and had a carrier bag with him and he took razor blades and attempted to open them and caused some damage and discarded them.

“He walked around the store looking at items for five minutes before taking an electric toothbrush. He placed it in a bag and left without paying.”

Ms Bickley added that Reynolds also struck at Holland and Barrett shortly afterwards on the same day when he entered the store carrying a bag and selected supplements and concealed them and left the store.

Reynolds was identified from CCTV by police but there had been a delay in bringing the prosecution because police had difficulty contacting the defendant.

Reynolds, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to both thefts after they were committed on April 13 at Superdrug, on Causeway Lane, and Holland and Barrett, on Crown Square.

Defence solicitor Ben Strelley said: “The aggravating factor is his record of previous convictions. He’s not a stranger to being before court.

“The majority of that record was plagued by him being attracted to class A substances.”

Mr Strelley added that Reynolds served a custodial sentence in 2017 and he had made progress with the probation service and had wanted to kick his drug habit.

However, Mr Strelley explained Reynolds had been helping a friend in April who used illicit substances and he lapsed and started using drugs again.

Mr Strelley added: “He was wounded by what he had done and was upset. Ordinarily, he would have relapsed further but he engaged with drug services on a voluntary basis and he is on a prescription.

“And in the last four months he has been tested and has given negative results.”

Magistrates, who stated that they did not wish to disrupt Reynolds’s efforts to stay drug-free, opted to sentence him to a 12 month conditional discharge.

But they warned that if he commits another offence in the next year he will be re-sentenced for the thefts with any new crime.

Reynolds was ordered to pay £231 compensation.