Career criminal stole benefits from disabled pal

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A heroin addict who stole his friend’s disability living allowance has been jailed for 17 months.

Career thief Darren Wild, aged 39, ran out of cash after his benefits were stopped, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

He regularly collected disabled pal Terry Stringfellow’s benefits payment from the Post Office, but stole his card, withdrew £40 and kept the cash.

When Mr Stringfellow, who had known Wild for three years after meeting him on the street, discovered his card was missing, he called police.

Wild, of Cowper Crescent, Fox Hill, Sheffield, admitted stealing from his friend, shoplifting at a Sheffield store and breaching court orders.

Three other shoplifting offences were also taken into consideration.

Police were looking for Wild for the store raid which was captured on CCTV when he stole from Mr Stringfellow on Friday, March 15.

The court heard Wild has 115 convictions for theft on his criminal record and has appeared in court 46 times.

He was in breach of a 38-week suspended jail term imposed for a burglary in Sheffield when he acted as a lookout for another burglar in January last year.

Rebecca Stevens, mitigating, said Wild had been on heroin for 20 years and wanted help to cure his addiction.

Ms Stevens said: “He is tired of the life-cycle that he is in.”

Jailing Wild, Judge Simon Lawler told him: “It was a mean offence against someone you befriended and indeed helped.”