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Broken heart triggered drugs relapse

'Honourable' man's shame at theft spree

John Garvey

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John Garvey

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A BROKEN heart sent an “honourable” man spiralling into the degradation of drug addiction, Newbury magistrates heard.

Following his discharge from prison 16 years ago, 36-year-old Stuart William Cullum had rebuilt his life and was a productive member of society, the court was told on Thursday, April 14.

But a relationship breakdown triggered a relapse into heroin addiction and John Chadwick, defending, said: “He is thoroughly ashamed – he feels he has degraded himself and his life. Everything he holds dear is in the balance.”

Mr Cullum, a father of one who lives at Dyson Close, Newbury, admitted stealing goods worth £279 from Stormfront in Newbury; £103.50 worth of goods from Boots at Newbury Retail Park; stealing another £279 worth of goods from Stormfront, stealing goods worth £25 from the Co-op in Thatcham; stealing food worth £33 from Sainsbuiry’s in Thatcham and stealing toiletries worth £19 from Debenhams in Newbury.

All the offences were committed between February 2 and March 1.

Mr Chadwick said: “Ordinarily he is an honourable man. Sixteen years is a long time to stay clean. These offences were committed purely to fund his heroin and crack cocaine use. He is currently a full time carer for his very sick mother and his relapse 18 months ago followed a relationship breakdown.”

Presiding magistrate Elizabeth Harrison told Mr Cullum: “This was a real blitz of offending after you were doing so well for so long.”

MNr Cullum was made subject to a 12 month community order with 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to pay a £60 sucharge but no order was made for compensation or costs.

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