Man stole tools from hire company to feed his crack-cocaine habit

A bogus worker stole tools valued at over £600 from a builders’ merchant hire company to feed his crack-cocaine drug habit.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 3 how Mark Lee Winter, 44, of New Street, North Wingfield, Chesterfield, claimed he was still working for a construction firm when he hired out a saw, a blade and a drill set from Frank Key Tool Hire, at Somercotes.

Court hearing.

Court hearing.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley said: “A male attended the store to hire tools by a higher-purchase scheme including a saw, a blade and a Combi drill set all valued at £605.”

Winter gave a false name, according to Mrs Bickley, and he gave his employer’s name as Redmond Construction which was false because he had been sacked by them weeks earlier.

Mrs Bickley said the offence came to light after the manager of Redmond Construction queried the hire of the tools with Frank Key Tool Hire and CCTV was viewed and Winter was identified as a sacked former employee.

Winter pleaded guilty to the theft of the tools which happened in October, last year.

He admitted committing the theft to police but claimed he was still working for Redmond Construction but he had hired the goods to swap for drugs.

Winter also admitted breaching a non-molestation order in September by contacting a specific person, who cannot be named for legal reasons, which he was prohibited from doing by the order.

Defence solicitor Karl Meakin said the theft had taken place at a difficult time in Winter’s life when he was using crack-cocaine on a regular basis.

He added that Winter has also served a custodial sentence during the summer for a common assault and driving offences and he was recalled to prison for 14 days in September for breaching the NMO.

Mr Meakin added that Winter’s problems have since been addressed and he is providing negative drug test results and he is back in full-time employment.

Magistrates sentenced Winter to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Requirement, Resolve Group work and 60 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £605 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.