A SWINDON drug addict at the end of his tether with his addiction asked magistrates in the town on Friday to send his to prison, and his request was granted.

Darren James Stacey, 33, of Carstairs Avenue, pleaded guilty to three charges of shoplifting items to the value of more than £450 from Boots, TK Max and Lloyds Pharmacy between January and May this year.

The items included Braun epilators costing £180 each, boxes of perfume and deodorants.

Vyvyan Thatcher, prosecuting, told the court that when Stacey, a methadone and heroin addict, was arrested he made a full admission and said he had stolen the items to sell to fund his drug habit.

Stacey had committed a huge number of similar offences prior to 2013, Mr Thatcher said, then there had been a huge gap until this year.

Gordon Hotson, defending, said Stacey was suffering from a drug dependency in 2013 but had been able to buy drugs because he was working as a groundworker.

He lost his job in January this year, however, and was unable to find other work. He had been living with his parents until six or seven weeks ago since when he had been living on the streets.

He was not able to claim benefits, did not receive a prescription for methadone and had no money at all, Mr Hotson said.

“He is very keen to get himself clean. He feels like he is at breaking point now with the dependency and feels the only way to get himself clean and become a worthwhile member of society is to go to prison.

“He does not feel he would comply with any form of probation order. He wants the opportunity to clean himself up in prison and is confident that after that he would be able to stay with a friend and find a job,” Mr Hotson added.

Bench chairman Jonathan Furlonger told Stacey: “We are going to send you to prison for six week for the first offence and three weeks for each of the other two offences.

“That is a total of 12 weeks but we have taken three weeks off for your early guilty plea, so you are sentenced to eight weeks in prison.

“We would urge you to co-operate with probation and the other agencies so you can come off drugs, start earning money and get your life back,” Mr Furlonger added.

Stacey was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115. He thanked the bench as he left the court.