Metal thief asked to be jailed

A PROLIFIC criminal who stole metal from an industrial estate pleaded with magistrates to keep him locked up in a bid to help him beat his heroin addiction.

David Morris, 31, is currently serving time in Holme House Prison, in Stockton, for other offences and was brought before Hartlepool Magistrates Court in custody after being snared on CCTV scaling over a wall at Usworth Road Industrial Estate in Hartlepool to steal scrap metal and wire mesh.

The court heard when the CCTV footage was examined further, Morris could also be seen entering a cabin belonging to another firm within the compound.

He appeared before justices and pleaded guilty to theft of the wire mesh and scrap metal, and burglary with intent to steal from the cabin, both on April 22.

Prosecuting, Alan Davison said: “Police were informed by CCTV operators that a man was climbing a perimeter fence into a company business compound in the Usworth Industrial Estate.

“Twenty minutes later he was seen running from the compound carrying a bundle and a bag.

“He was arrested and released on bail pending further police inquiries. When police examined the CCTV they saw the defendant had gone inside one of the cabins.

“He admitted this and said he’d gone through an unlocked door for a look around but didn’t take anything.”

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said his client was a “prolific offender in the midst of a serious drug addiction to heroin”, and was serving a prison sentence after asking magistrates on a previous occasion to send him to jail so he could try and beat it.

He said: “He couldn’t deal with his addiction in society and he told your colleagues that he would not comply with community order because he didn’t feel they made a difference to him. He believes methadone only makes his problem worse because he would only be moving from one addiction to another.

“Today he asks you to impose a further custodial sentence because he’s withdrawing rapidly from methadone in prison.”

He told the court that if Morris was released he would be back on the streets of Hartlepool, he would not be given methadone on his release and would have to buy some heroin and be back in the same vicious circle.

Mr Taylor added: “Allow him to get clear of methadone and heroin, he’s on the drugs-free wing and is not misusing drugs while in prison.”

Chairman of the bench Peter Heron agreed to his request and sentenced him to a further 14 weeks inside.