A MAN who committed a series of shoplifting offences to fund his drug habit has been sent to prison for 14 weeks.

Staff at the Co-op in Ruabon Road, Johnstown, said Paul Field’s offending had proved to be a “financial drain” on the store.

Prosecutor Helen Tench told Flintshire Magistrates Court that Field was a drug user who had been handed a suspended sentence in January.

He was spotted leaving the Co-op with a bag full of items on June 3 and when he was arrested three days later he admitted he had stolen whisky and vodka to sell on to “get into oblivion”.

But after being charged and bailed he went on to commit other thefts, including at Tesco in Cefn Mawr and Morrisons store in Wrexham, where he stole bottles of whisky.

Field, 40, of Gardden View, Ruabon, admitted six counts of theft and also failing to attend a probation appointment on April 6.

Christie Ankers-Phillips, defending, told the Mold court: “He’s a very vulnerable man who is going through a hard time at the moment.

“He had cancer several years ago and it is believed it has come back and he is under the care of Glan Clwyd Hospital.

"Unfortunately on the day he couldn’t get to hospital because he didn’t have the finances, so he went out to steal and buy drugs.

“Going to prison will mean the work going on in the hospital will cease.

"His health is at risk and at the moment he has a lot of pain in his back and kidneys.

"He just wants help.”

But magistrates activated the two-week suspended sentence and also sentenced Field to 10 weeks in prison on each of the theft offences to run concurrently as well as two weeks in custody for failing to attend his probation appointment.

He was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £115 and compensation of £90-20 for the stolen items.

As he was led from the dock Field shouted at magistrates “I hope you have a conscience if something happens to me in prison.”