A 49-YEAR-old, one-legged man was described as a ‘walking advert’ for why people should not use heroin.
Blackburn magistrates heard Paul McCartney had a leg amputated as a result of his addiction and now had a blood clot on his lung.
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Defending, Jonathan Taylor, said: “He feels he is facing his final battle. He has had problems with heroin for a significant period of time and it has taken its toll. He says he is just waiting to die.”
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said McCartney had an extensive record of acquisitive crime to support his heroin habit.
The latest offence reflected his desperation. McCartney went into a Spar shop on New Chapel Street in Blackburn and put 12 packs of cheese and meat in his pockets.
Miss Allan said: “As he attempted to make his getaway, he lost his balance and fell over.
“A member of staff played the part of the Good Samaritan and helped him up off the floor, onto his crutches and out of the shop. It was only later he realised he had been stealing.”
Miss Allan said McCartney was already subject to five conditional discharges for offences of theft.
Mr Taylor said McCartney had discharged himself from hospital just hours before he came to court and was still heavily sedated.
He said: “I have told him he needs to return to hospital as soon as possible.
“He has fought against heroin addiction for many years but it looks like heroin has won. He is a walking advert for why you should not use heroin and he feels he is facing his final battle.”
McCartney, of Devon Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to shoplifting.
He was fined £50 with £20 victim surcharge. He was also fined £50 for each breach of conditional discharge.
The magistrates set all the fines and the £451 he already owed against the time he spent in court.