Heroin addict thief avoids jail sentence

A HEROIN addict convicted of theft for the 50th time has narrowly avoided a prison sentence. Kieren Spilling, who turns 21 on Saturday, was sentenced to a two-year Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) after pleading guilty to two counts of theft.

A HEROIN addict convicted of theft for the 50th time has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

Kieren Spilling, who turns 21 on Saturday, was sentenced to a two-year Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO) after pleading guilty to two counts of theft.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard that Spilling, of no fixed abode, had a chequered history, having received 48 previous convictions for theft.

Godfried Duah, prosecuting, told the court that Spilling was dependant on drugs and was someone who had not learnt his lesson from previous court appearances and punishments.

He said: "He is somebody who has never learnt and will never learn. Drugs are clearly the reason why he persists in offending."

It emerged that on January 21, Spilling was captured on CCTV stealing a pair of jeans worth £59.95 from the window display at Coes in Ipswich.

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A week later on January 28, Spilling and two of his friends went into the Carphone Warehouse in Tavern Street, Ipswich.

Mr Duah said: "He was seen to lean over the counter and take a £60 mobile phone, while one of his colleagues was engaged in a conversation to distract the staff. In essence, some planning most have gone into this."

Mitigating, Mark Holt said that his client had suffered from drug addiction since 1999, when Spilling was just 15.

He said: "He has a chronic addiction to drugs and that's why he has huge numbers of convictions. He has been feeding an addiction he can't meet by legitimate means.

"He has bounced in and out of prison over the last four years."

Mr Holt added that Spilling, who is unemployed, was already the subject of a DTTO and was supposed to be receiving medication to help him beat his habit.

He said: "He has not been receiving his prescribed drugs and that is why he has offended. It's unrealistic for someone who has taken heroin on a regular basis to just stop.

"The test is, I would suggest, if he continues to offend after he has the medication. We can then test his resolve far better and there will be no excuses."

Bernie Turner, chairman of the bench, handed Spilling the DTTO and told him it would run concurrently with his existing order, which was given three weeks ago.

He said: "You must comply with the requirements of the DTTO in every respect. Keep all appointments and follow all the programmes the probation service ask of you."

Spilling was ordered to pay compensation of £59.95 and £51 costs.

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