A SHOPLIFTER who was caught stealing to feed his drug habit while he was already subject to a suspended prison sentence has been jailed for a total of five months.
Peter Ellery appeared in front of the same Warwick Crown Court judge who had given him the three-month suspended sentence after pleading guilty to four charges of theft.
And Judge Anthony Potter ordered Ellery, 31, of Parkland Road, to serve the suspended sentence, with an additional two months for the thefts.
Prosecutor Simon Burch had told the court that on May 30 a CCTV camera caught Ellery stealing items from the B&M Bargains store in the Rugby Central Shopping Centre.
When he was arrested he was also found to have almost £30 worth of meat he had stolen from the nearby Iceland store.
It was said Ellery had committed those thefts and two others at Boots, from where he stole two expensive electric toothbrushes, and Asda to feed his drug habit.
And Mr Burch pointed out that the B&M and Iceland thefts had taken place while Ellery was subject to a suspended sentence imposed in February for an offence of affray.
On that occasion the court heard that he and his partner had been involved in an incident in the street outside their home at the time in School Street after he had been challenged to fight a man.
In the street, the man had a shotgun, which turned out to have been deactivated, and as they faced each-other Ellery hit him to his arm with a bottle, causing him to drop the gun.
Meanwhile Ellery’s partner smashed a window of the man’s car, and Ellery picked up the shotgun which he then used to smash another window.
But sentencing Ellery for his part in the affray, Judge Potter had commented that he was ‘at a loss’ as to why the other man had not also been in the dock.
Of the theft offences, Colin Charvill, defending, pointed out that the Boots and Asda offences had pre-dated the imposition of the suspended sentence.
Mr Charvill said that since February Ellery had found accommodation for himself and his partner and had engaged with people to tackle his drug habit.
He was on a Methadone prescription, but it had not been enough and he still found himself needing heroin, which led to the thefts.
But Judge Potter rejected a suggestion that Ellery should be made subject to a suspended sentence with a drug rehabilitation requirement rather than the unpaid work he had been ordered to do.