Heroin addict stole 22 blocks of cheese

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A HEROIN addict stole a woman’s bag from a bar and cheese from a shop.

Steven Wastell, from South Shields, took the purse and cash – worth £302 – from Yates Wine Bar, in Sunderland, in March.

He pleaded guilty to theft at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and was released on bail, but was arrested again after stealing from a store.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, called the theft of the bag on March 26, “opportunistic”.

The court heard the 32-year-old had also stolen 22 blocks of cheese from a shop in Stanhope Road, South Shields, on Saturday, April 19.

When challenged by the manager, he told her the haul – worth £110 – was “only a bit of cheese.” Mr Anderson added: “He has 60 convictions for almost 170 offences. Of those, 99, probably 100 offences now, are of dishonesty.”

Wastell, of Ingham Grange, had been a heroin addict for 16 years, but wanted to get clean and start a family.

His solicitor, Joanne Gatens, told the court that Wastell had missed his methadone prescription before the theft.

She said: “He did not appreciate that Friday was a bank holiday and the chemist would be closed.

“He was therefore left for the whole of the weekend without a methadone prescription.”

Magistrates sentenced Wastell to 10 weeks behind bars.