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Drug addict who tried to burgle Ramsgate chemist caught after being recognised picking up a prescription

By Lynn Cox

A thieving drug addict who tried to break into a chemist was caught when he popped back into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and staff recognised him from CCTV footage.

Lee Kennelly, 35, tried to break into the Courts Pharmacy in Ramsgate, in the early hours of one night in February.

Armed with a holdall of tools, Kennelly, of no fixed address, tried to break into the venue via its front door, but when he could not manage that, he then went round to a side door and tried to break in there.

Lee Kennelly was only caught after going to collect a prescription
Lee Kennelly was only caught after going to collect a prescription

However, his attempts were futile and he was unable to gain entry and left the scene.

The attempt was caught on CCTV belonging to the business and damage was caused to both doors.

A short time later, Kennelly popped into the chemist to get a prescription and staff recognised him and told police.

He was arrested and later charged with attempted burglary and another offence of possession of a class A drug.

Two days before trying to break into the pharmacy, Kennelly had been spotted acting suspiciously in a Morrisons store by a security guard who suspected him of shoplifting.

The police were called to the store and Kennelly was searched and a quantity of heroin was found on him.

He had not stolen anything on that occasion.

Kennelly admitted both charges against him when he appeared in court and was sentenced by Judge Catherine Brown at Canterbury Crown Court on Tuesday, June 19.

Lee Kennelly was also found with a quantity of heroin
Lee Kennelly was also found with a quantity of heroin

Judge Brown also heard Kennelly was on a community order he had been given for another conviction when he committed the latest offences.

Caroline Knight prosecuting, said: "It was 3.30am and he can be seen in CCTV footage jogging past the pharmacy and then he comes back with the holdall and used tools on the doors.

"He also left blood at the scene and his face was clearly visible.

"He has a large number of previous similar convictions."

Daniel Stevens defending admitted his client had a chequered history

He added: "That's putting it mildly.

"He was on a community order when it did it and he had previously been in custody and he has a long history of offending.

"He tested negative for drugs on June 11, so he has no drugs in his system now and he is being supervised by probation until February 2020."

Canterbury Crown Court
Canterbury Crown Court

Judge Brown jailed Kennelly for six months but suspended the term for 12 months for both offences.

She added: "You are already being supervised by probation until next year and you've been given so many chances.

"Since you've been released from prison you have tested negative for drugs, which were the route of your offending.

"I am going to give you a chance to prove you can be a grown man.

"But this is your last chance."

Judge Brown also ordered Kennelly to appear in front of her in three months on Tuesday, September 17, so she could see if he was still testing negative for drugs.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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