Stole to feed heroin habit

PUBLISHED: 11:36 26 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

HEROIN addict Darren Thurling, who failed to pay for more than £150 worth of fuel poured into barrels on the back seat of a Ford Sierra, has been placed on a drug rehabilitation course. He told magistrates on Thursday that he was ready to receive intensiv

HEROIN addict Darren Thurling, who failed to pay for more than £150 worth of fuel poured into barrels on the back seat of a Ford Sierra, has been placed on a drug rehabilitation course.

He told magistrates on Thursday that he was ready to receive intensive help - and during the next year he will be regularly tested for illegal drugs.

Thirty-two-year-old Thurling, had also admitted a string of shoplifting offences, all committed to feed his drug habit.

Prosecuting at Ely courthouse on Thursday, Emma Dmitriev said Thurling took £77 worth of fuel from Tesco at Bar Hill on May 29, and the following day another £97.03 worth of petrol was taken.

Thurling, of The Causeway, Soham, had also admitted stealing meat from Littleport Co-op on May 30 and June 4, and from Willingham Co-op on June 4. He admitted stealing two cans of Special Brew from the One Stop store in Ely on June 28, and driving without insurance on July 10. Those offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge.

"All his offending is a direct result of his long-term heroin habit," said solicitor Gill McGivern. "He is desperate to get help in the community."

Thurling has a prescription for the heroin substitute methadone, she added. "He has spent every day funding his drug habit, but now all he has to do is go to the chemist rather than steal."

Thurling will be supervised by the probation service for two years, and take part in the offender substance abuse programme. The court also made him subject to a three month curfew, between 7pm and 7am. His driving licence was endorsed with six points and he was ordered to pay £60 costs.

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