A MAN who used a hammer to break into a supermarket and stole £1,000 worth of cigarettes has been jailed.

Sam Christopher Gordon, from Jarrow, in South Tyneside, had travelled to Blackhall Colliery to sell some amphetamines on December 9 last year.

Durham Crown Court heard that while in the village, the 30-year-old joined two men in breaking into the Londis supermarket.

Robin Turton, prosecuting, said: “He had a hammer and was part of a three-man team which broke in through the roof. Cigarettes, worth £1,000, were removed from the cabinet.”

When he was arrested he also had half an ounce of amphetamines in his pocket, as well as a knife, and told police he had already sold half an ounce of the drug.

Alec Burns, mitigating, said: “The defendant has been doing well very in the recent past. He has never tried to deny the offences.

"At the time he had stopped taking his medication which he takes for pain and mental health. He started to drink and take drugs to compensate.

“He had been visiting people he had been in prison with and that gave him the opportunity for these crimes.”

The court heard the owner of the shop was struggling to sleep as a result of the break-in and the business had been badly affected.

Judge Christopher Prince gave Gordon, of Severn Drive, a 368 day sentence, half of which will be served in prison.