A MAN desperate for Mamba and Spice drugs stole the handbag of a woman church volunteer who had tried to help him, a court heard.

David Morgan Gale, 24, used one of the victim’s cards to make a contactless purchase.

Gale, at the time of Tanybryn in Wrexham, but now of Church Street in Cefn Mawr, admitted burglary at the kitchen area of the Methodist Church in Regent Street, Wrexham, on November 12.

He further admitted burglary at The Wynnstay Arms in York Street when he stole a member of staff’s wallet contents from a storage area at the back of the function room and also used his card.

At a special weekend sitting of North East Wales Magistrates’ Court at Mold on Saturday, he also admitted four fraud charges where he had bought items using the stolen bank cards.

Gale – at the time the subject of a suspended prison sentence – was jailed for 40 weeks.

Magistrates said that he was in breach of a suspended sentence – and the second burglary occurred on the day that he had appeared in court and had been given a community order. It shown a blatant disregard for that order, they said.

Prosecutor Nicolas Wyn Williams said that Sheila Miller was a volunteer at the Methodist Church and provided food and English lessons for asylum seekers.

That day she placed her handbag in the kitchen area and when she returned found that it had disappeared.

She notified her bank, and it was discovered that her card had been used for a contactless transaction for £21 at the News Stop newsagents at Wrexham Bus Station.

A member of staff there recognised the defendant and the transaction was captured on CCTV.

On November 21 Gareth Carpenter was working at The Wynnstay and he found that the contents of his wallet had been stolen from a staff area.

CCTV showed the defendant, who was not a resident at the hotel, had entered. The bank was notified but three transactions had already taken place.

Arrested, he gave a no comment interview.

Defending solicitor Euros Jones said that his client’s case was a perfect example of what drugs could do.

He was under the effects of what used to be legal highs, Mamba and Spice.

The defendant accepted that he had taken the handbag of a church volunteer who had helped him. “That is how desperate he had become,” he said.

Mr Jones said that in previous times people used to be sent to prison and that would give them a break from drugs.

But he said that drugs were available in prison and if his client was jailed he would not have a break from Mamba and Spice.

In fact he would run up a drugs debt in prison and would come out in a worse situation, said Mr Jones.

Gale was desperate for help, he said.

“He knows he needs to stop offending and work with probation,” he said.

Rather than sentence him to immediate imprisonment he suggested that the case be adjourned until next week for a drugs assessment and to see whether the probation and other agencies would be able to assist him, Mr Jones suggested.

He had previously been bailed to his father’s address but that was no longer available to him and he suggested that his client be bailed to live with a cousin in Cefn Mawr and a condition not to enter Wrexham town centre, he said.