A MAN who broke into a village GP surgery after lapsing back into drinking and drug-taking has been given a chance to address those issues.

Thomas Adey broke into and ransacked Arbroath House Surgery in Easington Colliery, on the evening of June 18.

Durham Crown Court was told the defendant had taken a number of pills and drunk heavily prior to the offence.

Chris Morrison, prosecuting, said he appeared motivated by trying to access more drugs from the practice, in Seaside Lane.

Mr Morrison said Adey broke into the premises while it was closed, but, given the time of year, it was still in daylight.

He was seen climbing onto the building, removing a mesh cover and forcing a window, before entering and causing more than £5,000-worth of damage, including ripping a sink from a wall.

Adey also stole 50 hypodermic syringes which he left outside, apparently for collection later.

Footage on internal CCTV showed him inside the building roaming around, while he also left a bank card bearing his identity at the practice.

While he was said to have little recollection of the events that evening, the 40-year-old defendant, of Coniston Avenue, Easington Lane, admitted burglary.

He has remained in custody since turning up late for last Friday’s sentencing hearing.

Liam O’Brien, for the defendant, said Adey was very apologetic for committing the offence.

He told the hearing his lateness last Friday was down to the knock-on effect of the triple fatal crash on the A1(M).

Judge Ray Singh told Adey: “I know you have learned a salutary lesson.

“I know you have tried desperately hard to keep out of trouble, only to fall off the ladder in this case. I hope to be able to do something to help you.”

Passing a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, he ordered Adey to take part in 30 probation-run rehabilitation activity days.

He was also made subject of a 12-month drug rehabilitation activity requirement and an 80-day alcohol abstinence order to be monitored by a fitted device.

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