Addict who put on five stone in jail says 'Norwich Prison saved my life'

Norwich MP Chlose Smith is to meet with bosses and staff at HMP Norwich later this week . Photo : St

Shane Pearce said being remanded in Norwich jail saved his life - Credit: Steve Adams

A recovering addict told a court how being remanded in Norwich jail saved his life.

Shane Pearce, 47, put on weight and got drug free after being arrested and held on remand and he told Norwich Crown Court that he had now "had it" with drugs.

Danielle O'Donovan, prosecuting, said Pearce was arrested on two occasions in Norwich between June and August last year, and was found to have been dealing cocaine and heroin to fund his habit.

She said phone messages showed his involvement in dealing over that period.

Pearce, of Penn Grove, Mile Cross, Norwich, admitted the drugs offences and an arson offence, when he put a lighter to a neighbour's security camera, causing damage.

However the court heard that since the offences, Pearce had used his time on remand to come off drugs for the first time in many years.

Andrew Oliver, defending, said Pearce had a long and entrenched use of class A drugs but managed to become drugs free with help at the prison after going on a detox programme.

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He said that when Pearce went into the jail he weighed nine stone but was now 14 and half stone.

"When he went inside prison he was a heroin and crack cocaine addict."

He said Pearce also had a number of health issues as a result of his drug use and said: "Prison has saved his life. Had he not gone into prison at that time, his life might well have ended through his ill-health brought about by abusing class A drugs and alcohol."

He said Pearce had now been clean of drugs for about four months and had sought help to stay off drugs.

Pearce told the court  he had now "had it" with drugs and said his family and his life were more important than drugs.

Judge Andrew Shaw imposed a two year jail sentence suspended for two years and imposed a six month drug rehabilitation order to help ensure he remained drug free.

Judge Shaw wished him well but warned Pearce he still had a suspended sentence hanging over him.

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