A DRUG addict given a chance to address his substance misuse following offences earlier this year “failed miserably” to grasp the opportunity previously given to him at court.

John Paul Wheelan was given court community orders following offences of shoplifting and burglary, committed in April and July.

But he was back before Durham Crown Court having committed a further burglary, plus a theft from a car, putting him in breach of the court community orders of earlier this year.

Ellen Wright, prosecuting, said Wheelan broke into a tanning and beauty shop, in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, using a crow bar to gain entry, overnight between August 14 and 15.

Having been spoken to by police amid inquiries for that offence, Wheelan stole sunglasses, loose change and a bank card from a parked Nissan Juke, also in Easington Colliery, on September 29.

Ms Wright said he used the card to make a contactless purchase of tobacco products the following day.

The 41-year-old defendant, of Station Road, Easington Colliery, who was appearing via video link from Durham Prison, admitted burglary, theft, fraud and breaching the previous court orders.

Jane Waugh, mitigating, said his acquisitive crime, including the purchase of the cigarettes using the stolen card, was all in order for him to make money to pay for drugs.

She said the beauty shop break-in was committed while, “highly intoxicated”.

Imposing a 12-month prison sentence, Judge James Adkin told Wheelan: “You have a long and dispiriting history of offending, due to you being an opioid addict.

“A judge tried to give you a chance to avoid a custodial element and work with probation, but you failed pretty miserably and a custodial sentence is now inevitable.”