Pork thief urged to save his own bacon

Quit drugs or get the chop from girlfriend.

A drug user from Axminster has avoided getting the chop from his girlfriend and been ordered to get his life back on track after stealing a leg of pork.

Nathan Aaron Rendell, of Frank Rowe House, pleaded guilty to stealing a joint of meat, possession of cannabis and obstructing a police constable in the execution of their duty when he appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday.

The court heard that on Friday, November 11, police officers were called to reports of a shoplifter in the Co-operative in West Street and Rendell was identified as the culprit.

The 24-year-old was later spotted in South Street by a police officer where he produced 2.59g of herbal cannabis, which he had bought a week earlier, together with a grinder.

When he was asked to sit in the police car, Rendell fled the scene.

Police later attended his home address where they had to force entry after he refused to open the door.

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A search revealed an amount cannabis and other drug paraphernalia.

The leg of pork, valued at �5.94, was also recovered from his kitchen.

Rendell said: “It was silly. I’ve just started at Working Links to get back into work.

“It was just a bit of cannabis for personal use. I used to use it everyday, but I only use it occasionally now.

“My girlfriend has said to me ‘that’s it’ and given me an ultimatum - ‘it’s her or the drugs’.

“I was drunk and had the money on me.”

During the time of the offence, the court heard, Rendell had also been in breach of a conditional discharge for previous drugs offences.

The chairman of the bench, David Jarrett, said: “You are 24 going on 10.

“I think your partner has given you a very timely ultimatum.

“What you are doing is treading your way through life - irresponsibly. I want you to focus on getting work.”

Rendell was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Jarrett added: “We think a carrot and stick approach is going to do.

“We hope this will be a turning in the road.

“You need to have punishment, but there is also going to be an effect.

“We hope for your partner and child that you will stick to the new direction forward.”

The court also ordered Rendell to pay for the stolen meat and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the drugs and other paraphernalia.