‘Last chance’ for thief

Court urges Honiton man to change his ways.

A drug user from Honiton has been told by magistrates that a 12-month supervision order is his “last hope” to turn his life around.

James Collingwood David Trower, of Marwood Place, had pleaded guilty to stealing a Newmax premium silver battery from Countrywide in Honiton.

Karen Ball, prosecuting, told Central Devon Magistrates’ Court in Exeter, last week, that the 32-year-old was shopping at the store on Heathpark Industrial Estate at around midday on June 23.

He told a member of staff that he was checking prices.

After the defendant left the store, CCTV footage was checked and showed the defendant selecting two batteries, both valued at �96.99 each, and then placing one of them into a rucksack before leaving the store.

A subsequent stock check was carried out which confirmed the battery was missing .

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It was never recovered.

Miss Ball stated that, two days after the offence took place, Trower stopped police officers and told them he was wanted for shoplifting and was arrested.

During police interview, he made no comment.

Nicholas Bradley, defending, said: “The situation is that, for a long time, Mr Trower has struggled with a drug addiction to heroin.

“He is a man who you have seen on quite a number of occasions in the past.

“He is full of good intentions; unfortunately, sometimes, his commitment to change falters.”

He added: “Things are not going terribly well at home and he was down, took heroin, needs money and goes to the shop and steals a battery to sell and raise cash.”

Mr Bradley explained Trower was currently on a methadone prescription.

An application was also made to re-sentence Trower for failing to comply with the requirements of a community order of 120 hours’ unpaid work for a pervious theft offence.

The probation service said that “various things” had prevented him from attending and completing the hours, including illness.

The 12-month supervision order will replace Trower’s previous community order.

The chairman of the bench, John Middleton, said: “The Turn Around Team is your last hope and we expect you to co-operate fully with them.

“If you don’t do that, the options open to the court are very limited.”