A RECOVERING heroin addict has been jailed despite pleas to spare him prison so he could turn his life around.
Thomas Ford, who recently became clean from the drug after a 20-year addiction, had been working hard to get his life back on track when he lapsed and stole £38 worth of meat from a Chester convenience store, a court heard.
Ford, 54, of Church Road, Northwich, was caught on CCTV cameras stealing three legs of lamb and a pork joint from the Co-op in Walker Street, Hoole, Chester on July 14.
He pleaded guilty to theft and breaching a suspended prison sentence when he appeared before West Cheshire Magistrates on Tuesday.
Lionel Cope, prosecuting, said Ford told police after his arrest that he was hungry and had stolen the meat to sell on to buy himself breakfast.
John Hinchcliffe, defending, said: “Mr Ford committed this theft only days after receiving a suspended sentence order in July.
“Since then he has been doing everything right, but then he began mixing with undesirables.
“Mr Ford has been addicted to heroin since 1993 and he sought help from the drug intervention team and is now fully scripted to subutex and has been clean from drug tests for some months, which is something of a first for him.
“He is still drug free, sober and back on his feet and making a go of it.
“I put it to you that a prison sentence would not be the best option in the circumstances.”
Magistrates jailed Ford for sixteen weeks.