Drug addict jailed for burgling Sheffield pharmacy and causing damage to his grandparents' home in bid to feed habit

A drug addict who burgled a Sheffield pharmacy and caused damage to his grandparents’ home in a bid to feed his habit has been jailed.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 14th October 2019, 5:29 pm
Dominic Hirst was sentenced to 12 months in prison, during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Monday, October 14)

Prior to becoming addicted to Class A drugs, Dominic Hirst, 30, had a ‘good relationship’ with his grandparents, Stephanie Hollis, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court.

But after his addiction took hold, Hirst, of Longley Hall Road, Longley would regularly contact his grandparents to ask them to give him money for drugs, and they would usually oblige and hand over cash.

Ms Hollis said that when he went to visit them on the afternoon of August 18 last year, his grandmother would not open the door to him and spoke to him through the closed door instead.

“His grandfather went to the door and the exchange became heated. He said he had an axe and would use it,” Ms Hollis said.

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Hirst proceeded to damage their front door, which led them to call the police, but the defendant had already fled the scene by the time they arrived.

In the early hours of the following morning, Hirst broke into Deepcar Pharmacy in Manchester Road, Deepcar and stole a quantity of drugs, including six boxes of diazepam.

The police were alerted to the burglary by residents who heard the sound of glass breaking as Hirst gained access to the building, the court heard.

Hirst cut himself as he broke in, leaving blood at the scene, and fled to his aunt’s house where he demanded to be let in.

“He said he was bleeding and needed help, and that he had an axe and would smash the house up,” Ms Hollis told the court.

She added: “Hearing the police had been called he ran to his grandparents home and said he was bleeding. His grandfather called the police and the defendant was arrested at the scene.”

He was found to be a match for the blood left at Deepcar Pharmacy, and was subsequently charged with burglary.

Ms Hollis said Hirst has 16 offences on his criminal record, and was jailed for eight years for an offence of wounding with intent, relating to an attack on his partner that left her with a fractured jaw and an injury to her shoulder that required surgery.

He was still on license for that sentence when he committed this set of offences, and was subsequently recalled to prison.

Hirst pleaded guilty to burglary, criminal damage and threatening to cause criminal damage at an earlier hearing.

Dale Harris, defending, said Hirst’s recall to prison meant he would not be released until June 5, 2021.

“The defendant’s been in custody before, and is using the time productively this time. He’s having daily group sessions with support workers in custody. He’s on a recovery wing for people who suffer from substance misuse issues and is set on a controlled withdrawal from methadone. He realises the hard work will come upon his release from prison,” said Mr Harris.

Judge Peter Kelson QC sentenced Hirst to 12 months in prison, to run concurrently to the license period he is currently serving behind bars.

“I know that in your right mind you would have never behaved so terribly towards your grandparents...The Dominic Hirst who has conquered addiction is a different man. The problem is the Dominic Hirst whose addiction conquers him,” said Judge Kelson.

Judge Kelson also granted a five-year restraining order which prohibits Hirst from directly contacting his grandparents, and from any contact with his aunt, during that period.

- South Yorkshire Police have been asked to provide a custody image of Hirst