A HEROIN addict repaid the grandfather who helped him try to kick his habit by stealing £6,000 of his life savings, a court heard.
Jamie Shaw, aged 31, narrowly escaped jail after a judge heard he had now stopped taking drugs and was trying to turn his life around.
But Judge Trevor Barber added: “He is a disgrace.”
Sheffield Crown Court heard Shaw had been addicted to heroin for 10 years after being introduced to the drug by his own father. His dad later died from drug abuse.
Shaw’s grandparents tried to help him get off drugs, visiting him weekly in prison and putting him up at their home where they fed him and washed his clothes.
Peter Pym, prosecuting, said Shaw was kicked out of home by his mother who was sick of him stealing from her and in July last year she returned home one day to find the front door kicked in.
Shaw had used a tin opener to prise open a can containing £1 and £2 coins which his mother kept hidden upstairs. He stole £120, a Wii games console and games.
Mr Pym said Shaw started sleeping rough until August when he went to stay with his grandparents for two nights but then left.
He said: “His grandfather went to the safe, which was kept locked in a wardrobe.
“He kept a great deal of money there - effectively his life savings. There was £16,000 and £6,000 had been taken.”
In a victim impact statementt, Shaw’s mother said she couldn’t trust him as he’d stolen from her repeatedly.
Mr Pym said Shaw’s grandfather had always tried to support his grandson but had been left “sickened” by the offence committed against him.
Shaw admitted one charge of burglary and one of theft.
James Gould, defending, said: “These are mean offences for which he is rightly deeply ashamed. It’s a tragic background. He watched his father abusing heroin and that was how he was introduced to it.
“He went on to abuse the drug, his father died, and that’s how his life deteriorated. His family have stood by him and offered him help over the years.”
Mr Gould said since his arrest, Shaw - from Barnsley but living in Scunthorpe - had made “remarkable progress” in tackling his addiction.
Sentencing him to 12 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, plus 200 hours of unpaid work, Judge Barber also ordered Shaw to continue to reside in Scunthorpe where he will be supervised by the probation service for two years.
He said: “I’m not having him drifting back to Sheffield and getting back on drugs and breaking into whoever’s house.”
He told Shaw: “You’re lucky, because I’m not going to send you to prison. But, if I see you again, it’s goodbye for a long time.”