A FESTIVE break from his residential rehabilitation led to a Christmas relapse for a heroin addict.

Blackburn magistrates heard Mark Farran reverted to old habits when he returned to Darwen and ended up stealing to fund his addiction.

Farran, 33, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing Bacardi worth £50 from Asda, theft of property including a bank card from a car belonging to Georgina Knowles and fraudulent use of the contactless bank card. He was jailed for 16 weeks.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Farran had been in prison for two and a half months and was lucky enough to secure a place at a residential rehabilitation unit in Blackpool when he was released.

"That was going well but, due to staff being away over Christmas, he was told he could go home for a week," said Mr Taylor.

"Unfortunately he fell under the influence of old associates and very soon found himself taking heroin and then offending to fund the habit.

"He knows in his own mind it is best for him to go back to prison because that will get him off heroin again."