A HEROIN addict has been given one last chance after he was caught stealing a prawn paella from a Basingstoke supermarket.
Michael Martin was stopped by security guards as he tried to leave without paying for the ready meal at Sainsbury’s supermarket in The Malls on November 15 last year.
The offence came two weeks after the 40-year-old received a suspended sentence for allowing his flat to be used in the supply of heroin.
Martin, of Winklebury Way, Winklebury, Basingstoke, pleaded guilty to theft and the breach of a suspended sentence, and was in the dock at Winchester Crown Court for sentence.
Richard Tutt, prosecuting, said officers raided his flat on the afternoon of September 11 last year.
He said: “The door was forced and inside the flat were this defendant and another man.
“Found on a table was a deal list, a small knife, a BB gun and electronic scales. Behind the sofa was a carrier bag with 150 wraps of heroin, with an estimated street value of £3,160.”
Mr Tutt added that Martin had allowed the other man to use his flat in exchange for three wraps of heroin a day.
The court heard Martin was sentenced on November 1 to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. But two weeks later, Martin was arrested for the shoplifting offence at Sainsbury’s.
Robert Bolton, defending, said Martin stole the ready meal because he was hungry, having had his jobseeker’s allowance cut to £30 a week for poor attendance.
Judge Michael Vere-Hodge gave Martin a conditional discharge for the theft, and marked the breach of a suspended sentence with a £10 fine.
He told him: “I think you must treat this as your last chance.
“The shoplifting was of a trivial amount but it was a breach of a court order within two weeks, and it’s clear from your drugs rehabilitation report that you’re not doing as well as you should be.”