Court gives recovering heroin addict a chance after theft

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A recovering drug addict has been given a chance by a court after he was caught shoplifting.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, January 24, how Lee John Denwood, 48, of Quantock Way, Loundsley Green, Chesterfield, was captured on CCTV stealing £114 worth of razor blades from Wilkinson’s store, on Vicar Lane, Chesterfield.

Prosecuting solicitor Neill Fawcett said: “A security guard had returned from a break and noticed CCTV and saw the defendant select packs of razor blades and put them in a bag and leave the store.

“The CCTV stills were circulated and a PCSO recognised the defendant and Denwood was arrested and he made full admissions.”

Denwood told police that at the time he was using heroin daily and he stole to fund his drug habit.

The court heard that Denwood was apologetic and he offered to pay for the goods that were stolen because they were not recovered.

Denwood pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on August 22, 2016.

The defendant has previous convictions, according to Mr Fawcett, including 31 offences for theft and dishonesty from 1990 to 2016 and he was last before the courts in March, 2016, for three shop thefts.

Mr Fawcett added that Denwood was jailed for 21 weeks for the three thefts and he was still on licence when he struck at Wilkinson’s.

Defence solicitor Robert Sowter said: “His life had changed dramatically since this offence. He no longer uses heroin and he has been clean for three months and he is on a daily prescription to help him and his girlfriend has been a positive influence.”

Mr Sowter added that Denwood is also working full-time as a machine operator and he has been doing well under post-sentence supervision.

Magistrates felt Denwood has been making has been making progress and opted to sentence him to a 12 month conditional discharge but warned any re-offending would mean he would be dealt with for any new offence and be re-sentenced for the Wilkinson’s theft.

Denwood was also ordered to pay £114 compensation, £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.