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Drug Addict Saved from Prison

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 Drug Addict Saved from Prison

A recovering heroin addict who had owned up to 145 crimes has walked free from court. A judge confirms to taking a “significant risk” by allowing a man who carried out nearly 150 thefts and burglaries to stay out of prison.

Former drug addict Dean Weaver walked free from court after Judge Martin Picton said his “substantial progress” meant he could rehabilitate in freedom.

In October the judge told Weaver, 25, of Gloucester, he would not be jailed if he stayed drug-free for 12 weeks. Weaver who raided homes and businesses throughout Gloucestershire to feed his heroin addiction was told by a judge that granting him his liberty was ‘not an easy decision’.

The city’s crown court heard Weaver had lived up to his side of the bargain as negative samples showed he had not taken drugs since last year’s hearing.

Judge Picton said he originally deferred sentence on Weaver, from Abbeydale, after weighing up the “competing issues” and because he had shown progress on an earlier order made by magistrates.
Weaver told the judge: “I just want to change my life. I’m sick of living the way I’ve been living.”

Judge Picton sentenced him to a two-year community order, with probation supervision and routine drugs tests.
“He was also ordered to complete the Think First programme which addresses the root causes of offending.

He will also have to obey a six month daily home curfew between 7am and 10pm, and carry out 30 days of education and training.
At October’s hearing, Weaver admitted two burglaries and one theft.

He asked for 142 other offences to be taken into consideration, including 126 car thefts, five burglaries at businesses, seven house raids and taking a vehicle without consent four times.

The judge, who had been criticised by a conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown for not jailing Weaver, said: ‘It was not an easy decision to defer sentence on you. For the reasons that I tried to spell out when I did that.

On one hand you”ve committed a very large number of serious criminal offences which merit punishment.

‘On the other you are someone with a history of significant drug abuse, which has been the prime motive for your offending, but who has done surprisingly well under the order made by the magistrates’ court.

‘You responded in a way that lead to you getting support from both the Probation Service and the prolific offender unit in support of a seeking a course to promote rehabilitation and steering you away from drugs misuse, with the promise of long-term benefits to society if the cycle could be broken.

‘The drugs tests on you were all negative and you have engaged fully with the probation service in their efforts to rehabilitate you. In the context of your record and history of drug abuse that must be regarded as substantial progress.’

Judge Picton sparked controversy again last year by lifting a curfew on Lee Jones, 24, who had attacked a policeman.

Jones asked for the order to be lifted so he could go to Portugal for a golfing holiday. Cheeky!

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