Carlisle shoplifter wanted to settle £16,000 drugs debt

A SHOPLIFTER who stole sunglasses worth £350 from a Carlisle store was raising money to pay off a £16,000 drugs debt.

At the city’s Rickergate court, Aaron Devaney, 33, pleaded guilty to stealing the sunglasses from Boots on June 19 – barely two weeks after he had committed a similar theft offence.

Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, said the defendant was quickly identified when an image of him committing the theft was circulated among law enforcement officers. “He was recognised and identified,” said the prosecutor.

Despite the two recent thefts, the court heard, stealing was not a recurring theme in the defendant’s criminal record. Mark Shepherd, defending, said Devaney’s motivation was the need to settle an old drugs debt.

“Drug dealers were pursuing him with vigour,” said the lawyer. “Threats were made in relation to his family, so he went out to steal items to pay towards that debt. Fortunately, now that debt has been settled.”

The lawyer confirmed that the debt had been for £16,000. He pointed out that there had been a six year gap in the defendant’s offending, and this showed that he could remain offence free.

A probation officer who interviewed the defendant, who lives at Buchannan Road, Upperby, said that on the day of the theft he was under the influence of diazepam but his settling had removed his need to steal.

She said: “He’s been very disappointed with himself. He knows it was wrong and he knows there’s an impact from this kind of offending on society.”

Referring to Devaney’s personal circumstances, the officer said he had been diagnosed with PTSD, and suffered flashbacks as a result of what had been a “significant trauma” in his childhood.

He had used the diazepam to self-medicate. The Probation Service could work with him and hopefully ensure he has proper medication.

Magistrates imposed a 12-month community order, with 10 rehabilitation activity days and a three-month drug rehabilitation programme. Devaney must also pay an £80 fine with £85 costs.

Read More: Carlisle shoplifter wanted to settle £16,000 drugs debt

2022-08-13 21:00:00

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