Magistrates sent an offender back to jail for failing to comply with his post sentence supervision despite hearing how he has been battling drugs, poor health problems and losing his home.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court on October 24 how John Thomas Dwyer, 40, of Kirkstone Road, Dunston, Chesterfield, admitted failing to attend with his supervising probation officer and subsequently failed to comply with supervision requirements imposed after his release from prison.
Defence solicitor Denney Lau had questioned whether sending Dwyer back to prison would achieve anything because he had stopped re-offending and was fighting to get clean of drugs, overcome life-threatening health problems and battling to stop himself from becoming homeless.
Mr Lau said: “I wonder if sending him to prison for 14 days would achieve anything when the overall objective is to stop re-offending.”
Dwyer is willing to comply with the probation service but he has been suffering with infected ulcers on his leg and a fever, according to Mr Lau.
He added that Dwyer has also had financial difficulties with universal credit benefit changes and rent arrears leaving him in a constant battle to save his accommodation.
Mr Lau added: “He’s truthful and even confesses when he’s used heroin and used drugs.
“He’s not committed any offences to fund his drug habit. He’s clean and does not need to commit any further offences.”
Dwyer’s leg is not likely to get any better, according to Mr Lau, but if he was able to come off drugs his leg would not need to be amputated.
The defendant also has a problem with his left hand which he cannot move after he suffered a stroke, according to Mr Lau, and after 20 years of drug-use Dwyer know he is slowly dying.
Magistrates stated there was no alternative because Dwyer had “wilfully and persistently” failed to comply with the probation service since May.
Dwyer was sentenced to 14 days of custody.