Swindon AdvertiserCheese and wine spree ends in prison (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Cheese and wine spree ends in prison

Swindon Advertiser: The Tesco Express, in Freshbrook Village Centre, where the theft took place The Tesco Express, in Freshbrook Village Centre, where the theft took place

A FORMER drug addict who went on a cheese and wine stealing spree while on two suspended sentences is finally behind bars.

Lee Sparks, 33, was just days into the second order when he stole the groceries, worth more than £125, from Tesco in the Freshbrook Village Centre.

Sparks, who has 100 previous convictions, was first put on a suspended sentence in December last year for assaulting a vulnerable man in his hostel room.

In March this year he was given a chance by a judge when he again spared him from an immediate jail term for his role in the supply of drugs.

He was put on a two-year jail term, suspended for two years, after a judge heard he had “made great efforts to turn his life around”.

But just ten days later, on March 15, he was caught after stealing the cheese and two bottles of wine, worth £127.44, from the supermarket.

Judge Douglas Field, sitting at Swindon Crown Court, ruled it would not be unjust to activate the sentence in full and jailed him for two years.

The first suspended sentence was imposed after Sparks, of Upavon Court, Penhill, and his friend Shaun O’Sullivan admitted actual bodily harm. The pair set about their vulnerable victim after a petty argument shortly before Christmas 2012.

Both men assaulted Ian Pounds after a row about O’Sullivan sleeping on the floor of his room at the Amethyst Guest House on Sheppard Street.

Sparks was armed with a piece of plastic and O’Sullivan with some wood as they attacked the 43-year-old, who has mental health problems.

The pair left, returning moments later with a fire extinguisher which was let off in the victim’s face. He was also hit on the head with it and Sparks struck him on the arm with a metal bar.

Both men were put on three-month suspended sentences.

Sparks was given his final chance in March after being convicted of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.

He had allowed a dealer from the West Midlands to move into his flat and use it as a base for selling heroin and crack cocaine.

Although he denied being involved in the supply of drugs, he was convicted by a jury following a trial having admitted allowing his premises to be used for supply.

The court was told he had now got off drugs and was in work as a shop fitter and attending college.

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