Relapsed drug addict jailed for stealing whisky to sell in pubs

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A DRUG addict who relapsed after being kicked out of a homeless hostel has been jailed after handing himself in to police.

Alan Harrison was sentenced to 18 weeks after he continued to offend, despite being subject to two community orders.

The 43-year-old, of no fixed address, stole whisky worth £85 from B&M Bargains to sell on in pubs, and also grabbed a £199 tablet computer from Cash in a Flash in the city centre, Sunderland Magistrates’ heard.

Harrison admitted the two thefts, committed on September 17 and September 21 respectively, and also asked for two further shop thefts to be taken into consideration.

Gerry Armstrong, defending, said Harrison had been doing well after being released from prison earlier this year. Mr Armstrong told the court: “He managed to get accommodation at the Salvation Army hostel, and had something to look forward to, getting his benefits sorted out.

“But an allegation, which later turned out to be false, was made against him at the hostel and he had to leave. He told me he had relapsed and the situation would be better if he could hand himself in. When he saw two police officers he knew in Holmeside, he handed himself in and admitted to the thefts as well as two that had not even been reported.”

Sentencing Harrison for the new offences and re-sentencing for the two previous convictions, including one of non-dwelling burglary, District Judge Roger Elsey said: “You have appeared before the court on four occasions this year and you have been given community orders.

“You failed to engage with these orders and you have continued to offend.

“It is clear from the pre-sentence report that you are either unable or unwilling to engage with the Probation Service.

“These new offences are so serious, in light of your previous convictions, that only a custodial sentence can be justified.”

Harrison was also told to pay an £80 victim surcharge.