A MAN addicted to drugs since the age of 14 stole hundreds of pounds worth of stock from Huddersfield shops to fund his habit.
Andrew Spears, 27, targeted three stores in a month in a bid to raise cash to support his heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
Kirklees magistrates heard how he risked early death if his lifestyle continued.
Prosecutor Ben Crosland said that on August 3 Spears stole over £150 worth of cosmetics, including creams from Garnier and L’Oreal, from a Marsh branch of the Co-op.
On August 14 he was seen using a Farmfoods shopping back to conceal items at the Aspley branch of Asda.
Spears, of Brown Royd Avenue in Rawthorpe, was stopped as he tried to leave the store with three bottles of spirits.
The following day a store detective at Boots in King Street noticed a large gap in one of the toiletry displays.
CCTV footage showed Spears entering the shop an hour earlier and taking the pricey Ted Baker gift sets.
On August 17 he was stopped by police on New Street and admitted the thefts.
Spears also volunteered to police that he had a Stanley knife blade on him, pleading guilty to possession of a knife in public.
Jonathan Slawinski, mitigating, described his client as one of the town’s “old school” shoplifters.
He said: “He has been using drugs since 14 and knows that if he carries on like this his number is up. Physically he is a wreck.”
Magistrates ordered Spears to complete nine months of drugs rehabilitation and gave him an electronically-monitored curfew for 12 weeks.