A LABOURER who sought solace in heroin when his grandmother died had done his best to kick his habit in prison, a court heard yesterday.

Harrogate Magistrates' Court was told by defence lawyer Geoffrey Boothby that what Gareth Waite now needed was help so he could finally overcome his addiction.

Mr Boothby said Waite, 25, had gone through the painful process of doing without drugs while in Hull Prison awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to a theft charge.

He added that Waite, of Kennion Court, Harrogate, had had a five-year, on-off heroin habit.

He had turned to the drug after the death of his grandmother, and when his son had moved to Spain with his maternal grandparents.

He said Waite tended to turn to drugs when stressed and depressed, as he had been left by the two incidents, and had stolen to raise cash.

Peter Scott, prosecuting, said security staff at a Harrogate computer store had watched Waite tuck two computer game control pads worth £47.98 into the waistband of his trousers beneath his jacket.

Court chairwoman Judith Thomas gave Waite a 12-month community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement, Costs of £70 were also ordered.