Buxton serial thief is warned he faces prison if he re-offends

A serial thief with a heroin addiction has been warned that if he commits another offence he is likely to be sent to prison.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on March 13 how Paul Patrick Dunne, 42, of Fairfield Road, Buxton, admitted five thefts and a burglary after targeting three stores and a charity in Buxton including WH Smith, McColls, Stewarts Corner Shop and the Lighthouse charity.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said: “Each of these five shop thefts were recorded on CCTV with the earliest from Stewarts, on Lightwood Road, Buxton, on February 23, when he was trying to pay for cans of beer and he put a jar of peanut butter in a pocket and left with it.

“He was identified on CCTV as he was at McColl’s, on Spring Gardens, on March 5, and March 9, when food items were stolen.”

Mr Carr added that Dunne also committed a burglary at WH Smith, at Spring Gardens when he was seen again on CCTV taking battery power banks from behind a counter on March 12.

Dunne also stole a pair of hair straighteners and a candles set belonging to the Lighthouse charity, on Eagle Parade, at Buxton, on March 12, according to Mr Carr.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the five thefts and the burglary and the court heard he committed the offences while he was subject to a community order which had only been imposed on February 19 for seven thefts.

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Defence solicitor Serena Simpson said Dunne has been struggling with Universal Credit benefits which have only just started to come through and he stole food because he had been hungry.

She added that Dunne is a regular heroin-user and is on a methadone prescription and he admitted he was stealing some items to sell to feed his habit.

Ms Simpson said: “His is sorry for what he has done. He’s unfortunately been in a cycle for some time needing food and needing to feed his habit.”

However, she added that Dunne is going through a process to wean himself off drugs and he does want to get rid of this habit and make positive changes in his life.

Magistrates revoked Dunne’s community order and sentenced him to 21 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £21.94 to McColls and £1.89 to Stewarts in compensation.

Magistrates warned Dunne if he breaches any of the requirements of his suspended sentence order or commits another offence in the next year he could find himself going to prison.