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Heroin addict jailed 'to protect him from himself'

Anthony Jones was jailed for more than 22 months at Canterbury Crown Court
Anthony Jones was jailed for more than 22 months at Canterbury Crown Court

A MAN who has been a heroin addict for 30 years was jailed on Friday by a judge who said he needed to be protected from his drug problem.

Anthony Jones, 55, admitted charges of theft, possession of drugs, using threatening words and behaviour and a bail offence. He was jailed for a total of 22 and a half months after Canterbury Crown Court heard he had committed most of the offences while on police and court bail.

Jones, of Bridal Way, Herne Bay, said he had had a serious drug problem since the 1970s.

Judge Timothy Nash warned him: "I am tempted to say that the order of this court is that you be sentenced to death. For whatever I impose on you, you will most surely die from you heroin addiction if you do not conquer it. Death for you is around the corner.

"You need to be protected from yourself. That is why I felt I could not give you anything other than an immediate custodial sentence. If you continue taking heroin, then it is a sentence of death. That’s a reality and that would be a tragedy."

Prosecutor Darren Weir told Canterbury Crown Court that on September 21 last year, at 2.15pm a police officer was on duty in Herne Bay when he saw Jones get out of a car and go into a flat at 12, Victoria Park.

"Thirty minutes later Jones, 55, and another man were seen leaving the property where they met a third man," he said. "The officer was suspicious that something was going on and uniformed officers arrived and arrested Jones.

"Officers then searched the property and find hidden underneath a rug in the living room wraps of diamorphine. Further wraps were found in a torn condom. In total, officers found 3.9g of diamorphine with a street value of around £460.

"He claimed that he was renting the flat and had invited two friends to stay the night and that the drugs must have belonged to them. However, DNA tests later revealed that Jones had touched the packets."

Jone was bailed, but on October 16 he stole a £299 Italian black leather jacket from a shop.

On January 28 this year - again while on bail - he stole DVDs from a Safeway store in Canterbury. He was given bail again, and three days later on February 1 was found in possession of one wrap of heroin.

Mr Weir said: "That occurred after an altercation inside a Co-Op store in Herne Bay when he was ordered to leave the store after previously being banned from going there."

He was arrested and at the police station Jones tried to drop the drugs from his mouth.

Danny Moore, defending, said: "He has had a 30-year heroin addiction and has had nowhere to live and has had no contact with his family and no support."

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