Asylum Seeker Committed Shoplifting Offences After Drug Relapse

PUBLISHED: 10:59 23 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 04 May 2010

A HOMELESS Iraqi asylum seeker committed three shoplifting offences when he relapsed back into drug use. Tarek Alesheri - who has 17 previous convictions for theft -- stole a digital camera from the Argos store in Ely on January 20. On February 1 he went

A HOMELESS Iraqi asylum seeker committed three shoplifting offences when he relapsed back into drug use.

Tarek Alesheri - who has 17 previous convictions for theft -- stole a digital camera from the Argos store in Ely on January 20.

On February 1 he went into the Co-op store twice within a few minutes, stealing eight bottles of wine worth £30. A week later, he stole two cans of lager from the One Stop shop in Ely, city magistrates were told.

Alesheri, 33, "sofa surfs" at the home of friends, but gave an address in Churchgate Street, Soham.

"These were unsophisticated and impulsive offences," said Lowri Roberts, mitigating. "At the time of the offences he had relapsed into drug and substance abuse, that period is very foggy indeed for him."

She said Alesheri came to the UK six years ago illegally, because his family was persecuted by the old regime, and his father was killed.

"He is an asylum seeker, he cannot work or sign on," she added. "He has now turned things round, he is in contact with a drugs agency, and has a methadone prescription."

Sentencing was adjourned until April 9 for a report to be prepared.

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