Addict stole to fund drugs habit

A MAN who burgled and stole to fund a £300 a day crack cocaine addiction has been jailed for three years. Joe Skelsey s barrister said: His addiction was costing him more a day than I earn. Skelsey, 23, of Homestead Moat, Stevenage, was before Luton Cro

A MAN who burgled and stole to fund a £300 a day crack cocaine addiction has been jailed for three years.

Joe Skelsey's barrister said: "His addiction was costing him more a day than I earn."

Skelsey, 23, of Homestead Moat, Stevenage, was before Luton Crown Court to be sentenced for two burglaries, eight thefts, one obstruction and he asked for 128 offences to be taken into consideration.

Some of the offences dated back to 1998, said Sarah Gaunt, prosecuting, even though he had been before courts five times in that period and been given drug treatment orders and community help.


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She said many of the offences were for shoplifting in Stevenage stores, of items including a television, DVD player, trainers and razor blades.

But the most serious offences were the burglary of a house in York Road on July 20 last year while the owners were asleep. They were woken by their dog barking and found the woman's handbag had been stolen.

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Also on January 13 this year he broke into JD Sports in Stevenage by breaking an upstairs window and levering apart security bars to steal a quantity of trainers.

Stephen Akinsanya, defending, said: "He began using cannabis at 14 and was introduced to crack cocaine during his first prison sentence.

"This kind of offending is the thing that comes with an addiction costing him £300 a day which is more than I earn. It is done out of desperation.

"But he is at a crossroads now. He has been drug free while on remand and that motivation must stay with him on his release."

He said Skelsey was about to become a father and wanted to be a responsible parent.

Judge Richard Foster told Skelsey on Friday: "You have a hopeless addiction which has made your life a misery and will carry on doing so unless you sort it out.

"The best indication that you have the inclination to put this behind you is the fact you have admitted so many other offences.

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