A HEROIN addict has been jailed for 10 months for a string of shoplifting offences in Huntingdon and St Neots. James Beadle, of Eayre Court, St Neots, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and to breaching his community order when he appeared at Huntingdo

A HEROIN addict has been jailed for 10 months for a string of shoplifting offences in Huntingdon and St Neots.

James Beadle, of Eayre Court, St Neots, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and to breaching his community order when he appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

He was also sentenced for three offences to which he pleaded guilty on June 19.

Beadle, 30, admitted attempting to steal meat products worth £56.35 from Tesco Express in St Neots on June 30.

Scheherazade Haque, prosecuting, told the court Beadle had been traced after the meat was recovered in his jacket, which was also found to contain paperwork identifying him. He admitted stealing a bottle of brandy worth £12.99 from Waitrose in Huntingdon on the same date.

Beadle was also sentenced for three offences which had been deferred from a court appearance in June.

On April 14, Beadle was identified on CCTV stealing two bottles of whisky from the Rainbow store in Eaton Socon. He also admitted the theft of two bottles of wine from Marks and Spencer on May 21.

On April 28, Beadle was seen on CCTV cameras entering WH Smith in Huntingdon, and emerging carrying a printer. Cameras tracked him to a residential address in Huntingdon, where Beadle sold the printer on.

Nenad Spasojevic, defending, explained Beadle had been battling a long-term heroin addiction.

"He has been cast adrift by his family, and he has had a consistent and substantial heroin habit for over ten years. It may be that he will benefit from the custodial sentence by virtue of the enforced detoxification - maybe a short stretch inside will help him to do that," he said.

Magistrates told Beadle they had no alternative other than to impose a custodial sentence. He was sentenced to five months for the theft from Tesco and five months, to run consecutively, for the theft from WH Smith. He received three months' imprisonment for each of the other shoplifting offences, and for the breach of his community order, to run concurrently.