Meat thief jailed after dropping heroin in front of police

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A MAN who ran away from police for no apparent reason was arrested after two wraps of heroin fell out of his pocket in front of officers.

Joseph Service, 32, was arrested after he embarked on a minor crime spree, which also included stealing his ex-girlfriend’s phone and a £100 haul of meat from a supermarket.

He has now been jailed for 10 weeks by Sunderland magistrates after admitting possession of a Class A drug, two counts of theft, and breaching a conditional discharge,

Service, who gave his address as HMP Durham, was arrested on August 24, when he ran off after seeing a police car on Ironside Street, Houghton.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said the officers became suspicious and tracked Service down to a hiding place next to a garden wall. Then two wraps of heroin fell out of his jeans pocket.

The day before, he had made off from the Co-op store in Mautland Square with £100 worth of meat.

Then on September 26, Service was arrested for the theft of a mobile phone from the home of an on-off girlfriend.

He told officers he was going to give it back to her, but instead put it in the bin. It has not been recovered.

Gerry Ford, defending, said Service had his benefits stopped and was struggling with money.

“Unfortunately this is a pattern of offending which you would see if someone started to misuse Class-A drugs – thefts of minor value to get a quick sell to get some quick money for a quick fix.

“He has in the past been taking some relatively soft drugs, like MDMA or cannabis. There is nothing like heroin or crack cocaine on his record.

“What he accepts is that he did start to dabble in heroin to take the worry away of not being able to feed himself. Then the spiral started. He says ‘I had some and then I wanted some more’.

“The best thing that’s happened is his three weeks he’s already spent in custody which have allowed him to start to detox.”

Service was also told to pay £112 in compensation.