A THIEF who “buried his head in the sand” through drug use has been jailed for 19 months.

Kevin Anthony Green, 43, of Charles Street, South Ham, appeared at Winchester Crown Court on Friday last week– two days before his 44th birthday – after pleading guilty to two counts of theft from a store at a previous hearing.

Green also pleaded guilty to breaching the terms of a two year suspended sentence placed on him in January this year relating to him stealing a purse from a pensioner.

The court heard that on June 25, Green stole razors and other items from a store in Basingstoke, and then on October 19 he filled a bag full of items from the B&M store in Worting Road and left without paying.

Prosecutor Thomas Power said the thefts were straightforward, but the main issue was breaching the suspended sentence.

Mr Power said: “In June last year the defendant entered the house of a 84-year-old lady. She heard a disturbance and when she went to see what it was, she saw the defendant exiting her living room.

“He stole her purse and was later found by police acting suspiciously with the purse in his possession.”

Defending Green, Philip McCan, said as of February his client had started using heroin, which led to the thefts.

Mr McCan said: “This is a drug problem which he kept to himself and probation were not aware of the habit.

“The heroin took over and he buried his head in the sand.”

The court also heard Green had breached his suspended sentence for non-compliance on another aspect, only attending six of 14 appointments arranged by the probation service.

In sentencing, Judge Susan Evans QC said that there had been a gap in Green’s offending, but the breach of a suspended sentence “cannot be ignored”.

Judge Evans said: “Since you have been in custody you have sought help, regrettably I have to take into account the breach and have to deal with you in regards to that. But I am not going to trigger the full amount.”

Green was sentenced to 18 months for the breach of the suspended sentence, and one month for the two counts of theft to run consecutively.