Convicted drug dealer avoids jail
A CONVICTED drug dealer and recovering heroin addict has avoided jail after stealing while facing a deferred sentence.
Plymouth magistrates deferred sentence on Wayne Matthews for a shoplifting offence for three months in December to see whether he could kick his habit and stay out of trouble.
But Matthews, aged 35, of Beaumont Road, St Judes, stole again on January 5.
He admitted taking a vacuum cleaner worth £219 from Comet.
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Matthews had earlier admitted theft of two MP3 docking stations worth £150 from BHS in Plymouth on December 10.
Magistrates have now sentenced him for a total of 120 days in prison but suspended the term for 12 months for both offences.
He was ordered to do a six-month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement, which will treat and test him for his drug addiction.
Matthews must also pay £219 in compensation to Comet.
Paul Brookman, for Matthews, admitted he had a 'lengthy record'.
He added that the previous offences were to fuel a drug addiction but the latest theft was to pay an outstanding drug debt.
Mr Brookman said that Matthews bumped into two people who demanded that he steal the vacuum cleaner to clear what he owned them.
The court heard that Matthews was already working with drug counselling service Harbour and had been tested negative for street drugs.