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Serial thief gets a chance to beat drugs despite committing a further offence

A serial thief who stole from his parents and shops has been given a further chance by magistrates to wean himself off drugs despite committing another shoplifting offence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 2 how Thomas Hart, 23, of West Lea, at Clowne, stole goods valued at £84.94 from The Range, at Lordsmill Street, Chesterfield, after he had received a community order days before for stealing from his parents and two stores.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett told the court Hart was spotted by staff at The Range who became suspicious and he admitted stealing goods after he had placed them in a bag.

The defendant told police his intention was to steal the goods because it had been his daughter’s birthday and he has a drug habit and had spent all his money on that addiction.

Hart, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on October 1.

And the court heard Hart had previously admitted trespassing at his parent’s home at Bramlyn Close, Clowne, and stealing a safe, cash, a medallion, documents and food valued at £110 on August 13.

He also admitted failing to surrender to custody while on bail and admitted stealing Yankee Candles valued at £244.08 on September 25 from Tesco as well stealing £143.94 of Yankee Candles from Dobbies Garden Centre, at Barlborough, on September 17.

Hart was initially sentenced on September 27 to a community order with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement, a Thinking Skills Programme, a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a one-year restraining order.

He was also fined £40 and must pay £110 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

But following his latest theft from The Range, the probation service told the court Hart has not yet started his drug rehabilitation requirement and defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said he still needs treatment.

Ms Sargent added that Hart has shown remorse which was noted by police and he had stolen items from The Range to sell on and had hoped to buy a birthday present for his daughter.

Sympathetic magistrates fined Hart £40 for the theft from The Range and he must also pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.