A HEROIN addict avoided jail after he told magistrates that prison hadn’t helped him.

Gary Jackson, who has been sent to prison up to 40 times, yesterday made the plea to Kirklees magistrates.

They had heard how the 24-year-old was desperate to break the cycle of stealing to feed his drug habit.

Linda Fowler, prosecuting, told magistrates that Jackson’s latest theft took place on November 15.

He stole four cans of deodorant from the Tesco supermarket in Viaduct Street, Huddersfield.

Jackson, of Whitestone Lane in Hillhouse, was detained by staff after being spotted stuffing the items into his jacket. He fled but was tracked down by police who arrested him.

Jackson said that he would have sold the deodorant to buy drugs.

He admitted that his daily heroin habit cost him up to £10 a day and most of his benefits cash would be spent on this.

Magistrates were told that Jackson was on conditional bail for shoplifting. He had been given conditional bail to comply with the Drugs Intervention Programme and was due to attend an appointment when he went into the supermarket to steal.

Ian Whiteley, mitigating, said his client had a long list of similar offences to his name and had been jailed for many. “He’s committing offences, going to prison, coming out, committing offences again and the cycle continues,” he said.

“He needs to be given a chance or this cycle will continue.

“Prison doesn’t want people like Mr Jackson clogging it up.”

Magistrates were asked to give him one further chance to get off drugs.

When asked by the bench why he should not go to prison, Jackson replied: “I’ve been in custody 30 to 40 times, it never does help.”

Magistrates adjourned sentencing until November 30 to allow him to attend his appointment.