AN ADDICT who spends up to £150 a day on heroin and crack cocaine stole suitcases and £130-worth of chocolate, Leap Year magistrates heard.

But the justices declined to sentence Martin Drinka on Saturday morning – adjourning his case to April Fools’ Day.

Former racehorse stables worker Drinka was said to have started taking drugs out of curiosity having driven two colleagues to a meeting with dealers to buy crack cocaine.

Having coming to the UK from Slovakia seven years ago, had been making good money in Lambourn. He had a car, a flat and a decent wage.

Jonathan Lewis, defending, said: “There were two colleagues that he worked with. He could tell that they were both drug users.

“Fatally, just over a year ago he helped them by driving them to buy their drugs – what he describes as a stupid decision, probably the understatement of his life.

“He’s curious and he buys some for himself. Crack cocaine and heroin, thoroughly unforgiving substances and he lost everything.”

He had turned to addiction service Turning Point for help but had been told he would have to wait 14 days for a prescription for heroin substitute methadone.

In desperation he had stolen the suitcases from Wilko on February 23 and 24, selling them on Manchester Road for cash to buy drugs.

On February 26, Drinka went to One Below on Regent Street with a Bag for Life. When he left the store the bag was bulging. He was stopped and £130.59-worth of chocolate bars found in plastic bag.

Prosecutor Kate Prince said CCTV revealed Drinka had also used a stolen credit card at the BJM Newsagent, New Bridge Square, on January 21. The card had been stolen earlier that day by Drinka’s brother, who has not been charged.

When he was arrested by police the Slovakian asked: “What would happen if I left the country before then and didn’t return?”

Appearing before Swindon Magistrates’ Court on February 29 – the Leap Year day that occurs only once every four years – Drinka, 38, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, fraud by false representation and three counts of shoplifting.

Magistrates heard he was due before the court on April 1 – April Fools’ Day – for other matters.

Drinka was remanded in custody until a hearing on March 5, when it was hoped the other charges could be dealt with.