Heanor thief is warned he must curb his drinking

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A HEANOR shoplifter was on a “very fast road to death” if he did not curb his drinking, a court has heard.

Neil Martin, 37, spent all his benefit on booze and stole a £160 drill from B&Q, Somercotes, intending to sell it and buy more alcohol.

Becky Mahon, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates a store worker confronted Martin after the item set off an alarm as he walked out.

“She could tell he was drunk. He repeatedly said he had paid and he was looking in his pocket for the receipt,” said Ms Mahon.

Martin handed the assistant £10 as “payment” before returning the item to the display shelf. He was arrested and later told police he could not remember much about the offence.

His solicitor, John Last, said his mother provided him with food or he would starve. “All his money goes on alcohol, he is that chronic. Police have stopped bothering taking him to court for being drunk and disorderly.

“Without alcohol he fits because his body has been deprived of it. At the moment he is on a very fast road to death if he continues drinking at this level,” said Mr Last.

He told the court that Martin’s brother had overcome a drink problem but he had been unable to follow suit, despite using the Addaction alcohol service and having a spell in rehabilitation.

“His appearance has changed so much in the last two years I struggled to recognise him. He knows he is killing himself,” added Mr Last.

Martin, of Huftons Drive, admitted the September 29 theft. Sentence was adjourned until November 21 for Probation Service reports.

He suffered a fit immediately after the hearing and court business had to be moved to another room while paramedics treated him.