Norwich’s most senior judge has lost patience with a drug addict who continues stealing to fund his habit and has handed the man a nine-month prison sentence.

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"The judge could have given you nine months in prison, but he gave you a chance. I can’t keep giving people in this position chances. You are in the last chance saloon."

Judge Peter Jacobs.

Judge Peter Jacobs jailed Charles Marrison, of Woodward Road in Mile Cross, at Norwich Crown Court yesterday and branded the situation as “depressing”.

Marrison, 33, appeared after admitting stealing various items from Mousehold Garden Centre, in Mousehold Lane, which also breached a standing drug rehabilitation order he was already serving.

Judge Jacobs said Marrison had wasted previous chances provided to him by the criminal justice system: “You have been under the influence of drugs for much of your adult life and that is depressing. I can’t see what you have done with your life, all you’re doing is destroying it.”

Marrison admitted stealing goods from the garden centre on Saturday, August 4, before leaving the scene on a bike belonging to one of the garden centre’s staff.

He was said to have taken seven DVDs, a drill, drill bits and a Black and Decker jigsaw, worth a total of around £285.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Marrison was spotted cycling with two big bags on Philadelphia Lane, close to his Mile Cross home, by police and fled when he was approached.

Mr Ivory said: “He made off and was chased through a field before being caught and arrested. He immediately volunteered that he was going to sell the items to buy some drugs.”

Ian James, in mitigation, said that Marrison had a long-standing addiction to heroin and cocaine and, after making some good progress in getting over his addictions, had relapsed after being diagnosed with osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone which was causing him a lot of pain.

Marrison was given five months in prison for the theft and five months for handling the stolen goods, which will run concurrently, but then given another four months for breaching his pre-existing court order.

Referring to a similar theft Marrison was convicted of in February, Judge Jacobs said: “The judge could have given you nine months in prison, but he gave you a chance.

“I can’t keep giving people in this position chances. You are in the last chance saloon.”

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