Somercotes man breached bail condition

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A SOMERCOTES man breached a court bail condition within hours of it being imposed by going shopping.

To make matters worse, he was caught with cannabis when police searched him and found to be in breach of a conditional discharge.

James Mason, who faces a trial on two shoplifting charges next month, had been granted bail on condition he kept out of self-service retail shops and lived at an address in Leabrooks Road, Somercotes.

But, just hours after the 31st October hearing, a police officer saw him carrying a bag full of shopping in Greenhill Lane, Riddings.

“He said he had been in Nisa shop in Riddings. He was searched and a small amount of cannabis was found,” Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates.

Mason (34) was arrested and brought before the court in police custody on Wednesday, when he admitted possessing cannabis and breaching a conditional discharge.

He will be sentenced for the offences following the 14th December trial.

Mason’s bail was renewed on the same conditions after his solicitor, John Hay, asked the justices to “give him another chance”.

“He smokes cannabis occasionally. It was a small amount in his possession and he had forgotten it was there,” said Mr Hay.

The court heard that Mason had committed offences while leading a chaotic lifestyle of heroin abuse and homelessness but he weaned himself off the drug during a spell in jail.

He was released from the 18-week sentence in early October and had since found supported accommodation and obtained a methadone prescription.

“It looks really bad that he got bail last week and then went into the store. He was used to going to the shop and it slipped his mind.

“He realises how foolish he has been and what he has to lose. His accommodation is all-important to him. There are people who can go into shops and buy food on his behalf if he is given another chance,” added Mr Hay.