Drug user stole £3 charity box

A CLOWNE man stole a charity box from a bookmakers and raided two shops after relapsing into drug abuse, a court was told.

Lee Boden, 29, of Westlea, Clowne took razor blades from Lloyds pharmacy and a laptop from Wilkinsons in the town.

He was on bail for these offences on 16th November when he committed another theft in Ladbrokes, Chesterfield.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said Boden was exchanging some coins for notes and, as staff counted the money, he picked up a charity box and stuffed it inside his bag.

She told Chesterfield magistrates that the theft was captured on CCTV, adding: “He said he was having problems with his benefit at the time and he saw an opportunity to take the box, which had been emptied the day before by staff and contained about £3.”

Boden admitted three theft offences and breaching a nine-month conditional discharge imposed for previous dishonesty.

Magistrates adjourned sentence for a probation report to consider a drug rehabilitation order.

“He had relapsed into drug misuse at the time of the October offences which coincided with the anniversary of his brother’s suicide,” said Kevin Tomlinson, defending.

“On 16th November his benefit had been stopped for a number of weeks and he had no money for basics such as food.”

Mr Tomlinson said Boden had spent a fortnight in Hartington psychiatric unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital after pouring petrol over himself during an attempt to take his own life.

“He wanted to bring it to an end because he saw no future. He has been able to have detox from drugs while in hospital and he hopes to go into private rehab to sustain it and have a blocker implanted,” added Mr Tomlinson.