MAGISTRATES handed a Northwich shoplifter a drugs rehabilitation order after hearing that substance misuse had led to a spate of offences.

Andrew Tew, 29, of Water Street, Northwich, pleaded guilty to two thefts at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, January 3.

Prosecuting, Rob Youds said Tew had stolen a bottle of spirits from Sainsbury’s on December 12, before being caught with a pair of Remmington hair clippers from Boots inside his jacket after a stop and search in the town centre.

Mitigating, Derek McDonald said that Tew had stolen to fund a heroin habit after a pervious drugs rehabilitation programme failed to be in place to coincide with his release from prison for earlier offences.

“There’s a delay of two weeks over Christmas. The courts would benefit from a better system than this being in place,” he said.

Chair Howard Fay told Fay: “It’s largely going to be in your hands to stop this revolving door of going to prison.”

Tew was ordered to undertake a drugs rehabilitation programme, placed under supervision for 21 months and ordered to pay court costs totalling £145.