A desperate Derbyshire alcoholic stole cans of lager to feed his addiction

Pictured is Graham Raynor, 56, formerly of Heanor, who has been jailed for 20 weeks after he admitted a theft, failing to attend court and breaching a suspended prison sentence.
Pictured is Graham Raynor, 56, formerly of Heanor, who has been jailed for 20 weeks after he admitted a theft, failing to attend court and breaching a suspended prison sentence.

A desperate alcoholic thief who stole cans of lager to ease his addiction has been put behind bars for 20 weeks.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 25 how Graham Raynor, 56, formerly of Heanor, stole six cans of Stella Artois from an Aldi store, on Southmead Way, at Derby, on September 6.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop told the court: “He was stopped when leaving the store and he was apologetic and the property was recovered and he told police he is an alcoholic and the theft was necessary.”

Raynor had also breached a previously imposed suspended prison sentence by failing to attend an induction appointment, according to Mrs Allsop, and he failed to attend a court hearing on September 24 and had to be arrested on a warrant.

The defendant, who has previous convictions, admitted failing to attend court, admitted breaching a suspended prison sentence order and pleaded guilty to the theft matter.

Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said: “It’s a sorry set of circumstances that led to Mr Raynor coming back before the court.

“He was in hospital just before the theft offence on September 6 and on release he had no medication because he is a long term alcoholic.

“He attended the store to take the cans of lager out of necessity.”

Ms Sargent added that Raynor, of no fixed abode, knows the circumstances are not an excuse but they are the reason behind the theft.

Jobless Raynor used to run a pub, according to Ms Sargent, and that was when his alcohol problems began and they became so severe he had to leave his job and his relationship ended.

Ms Sargent said: “He’s tried detox, different medication, periods in prison and regular hospital intermissions and nothing has been able to help him beat his addiction.

“And he’s left in the situation where he is back before the court again committing a low level shop theft.”

Magistrates described Raynor’s criminal record of similar offending as appalling and they sentenced him to 20 weeks of custody.

He was also ordered to pay £122 victim surcharge.