16th Jul, 2018

'Tea leaf' steals to feed drug habit in Rubery

Bromsgrove Editorial 28th Oct, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

MAGISTRATES have heard how a drug addict became a ‘tea leaf’ to feed his habit.

Richard Harris, of The Walmers Walk, Birmingham, pleaded guilty at Redditch Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (October 27) to stealing £126.40 worth of items from Farmfoods in Rubery.

Adrian Jones, prosecuting, told the court the 37-year-old went into the store at 10.10am on August 8. He filled his trolley with 32 boxes of PG Tips and stood by the doors for a while before leaving the shop with the trolley. Staff members shouted at him to stop but he ran off towards the Tesco store.

However blundering Harris had left his car keys in the trolley and so police were able to trace and arrest him.

Harris, who was unrepresented, told the court: “I was clean for seven years before this.

“My marriage broke down which made my drug addiction reoccur.”

He told the court he had engaged in a detox and is now in employment and living with his mother.

District Judge Nigel Cadbury said: “You are steering into a new part of your life now. You are living with your mother and working so I feel the best thing to do is to fine you.”

Harris was fined £50 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £135, a £150 court charge and a £20 victim surcharge.

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