AN ADDICT who has spent half his life hooked on heroin has been placed on a drug rehabilitation programme.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard that 30-year-old shoplifter David Webb first started taking heroin when he was 15-years-old and his habit was usually the primary motivation for his offending.

He appeared in court on Thursday (March 27) to plead guilty to stealing £22.60 worth of laundry products and a 90p bottle of milk from a Co-operative store in Darlington on two separate occasions.

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Webb also admitted failing to attend a bail appointment.

Mitigating, Rory Todd said on this occasion Webb was stealing “out of desperation” because his partner’s benefits had been sanctioned and the pair were struggling to live.

His partner, Tracey Hay, appeared in court separately to plead guilty to stealing meat and laundry goods worth £9.20 from the Co-operative, and £69.52 worth of food and toiletries from B&M over five separate occasions.

The court was told that 40-year-old Hay had a history of drug problems but had been clean for the last two years and the pair lived together on benefits in Ruby Street, Darlington.

Webb, who was already serving a community order and was on licence from prison, had a six month drug rehabilitation requirement added to his sentence by magistrates.

He was also told to pay £23.50 compensation to the Co-operative.

Hay was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a total of £49.49 compensation between the Co-operative and B&M.