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Thief facing amputations due to drug addiction is spared from jail

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate drug addict whose substance abuse may lead to the amputation of his legs has been spared from jail after he stole from a store.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, December 29, how Julian Mallen, 37, of West Lea, Clowne, stole a set of spanners and an electric screw driver from Aldi, on Mill Green Way, Clowne.

Prosecuting solicitor Sanjay Jerath said: “The defendant, on September 14, stole from Aldi.

“Police attended and the stolen goods were recovered and the defendant was interviewed and admitted the offence saying he wanted money to fuel a heroin addiction which he had now got a hold on.”

Mallen, who has 13 previous convictions, pleaded guilty to stealing the goods valued at £24.98. He also admitted breaching a community order by failing to attend with a probation officer.

The court heard that this order had previously been imposed for possessing a blade in public and for failing to surrender to custody.

Defence solicitor Denny Lau said: “When he started his order he was looking after his mum and his brother and unfortunately he was using heroin and as a result he overdosed and he had been leaning against a radiator for number of hours and he burned his arm and he was treated for the burn and for drug use.

“He was asked to leave the address where he was living with his mum because he was becoming a liability. He became homeless and disengaged with the probation service and then committed this theft offence.”

Mr Lau added that Mallen began living under a bridge and he had tried to keep away from crime but he would go to the back of shops and eat rotten food and he went on to commit the theft.

Mallen has since returned to his mother’s home and he has stopped using illegal drugs and is now using heroin substitute methadone, according to Mr Lau.

Mr Lau added that Mallen’s plight is such that he will most likely have to have his legs amputated due to poor circulation caused by injecting himself in the limbs.

Magistrates sentenced Mallen to nine weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was ordered to pay £85 prosecution costs, £60 probation costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also warned Mallen that if he re-offends or breaches his suspended sentence order he will go to prison.