‘Jail me to beat heroin’, pleads man who burgled brother

Desperate measures: Addict stole from brother so he would be jailed.
Desperate measures: Addict stole from brother so he would be jailed.
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A HEROIN addict who couldn’t get rehab treatment from his GP broke into his own brother’s home - so he would be sent to jail and get help to kick his habit.

Keith Parks, aged 22, burgled his brother Carl Hatfield’s flat on Elm Grove, Greasbrough, Rotherham, stealing an Xbox games console, DVD player and computer games - and then handed himself in to police.

Parks’s barrister Dermot Hughes told Sheffield Crown Court the desperate addict wanted to be locked up - and Judge Roger Keen QC replied: “That’s what I will do then - how long does he want to go for?”

Mr Hughes said Parks had visited his GP, but that his doctor “put him at the end of a queue” to assess his drug dependency.

Mr Hughes added: “He thought that the most direct route to obtaining help with his heroin addiction was to go to prison.”

Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said Parks, who also lived on Elm Grove, broke into Carl’s ground floor flat last month when he was out for 24 hours, leaving the property locked and secured.

She said: “He returned to find the kitchen window smashed.

“His Xbox and DVD surround sound system had been stolen together with three computer games.”

Ms Gallagher said Carl found a hammer outside, and noticed the living room window - previously shut - had been opened.

Carl then spoke to Parks’ girlfriend, who told him his brother was responsible for the break-in.

“It seems the defendant had admitted it to their mother,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Carl got a key for Keith’s flat and went round there himself, where he found the stolen property and recovered it.”

Parks admitted the burglary in police interview, while Carl said he was “very angry and upset” over the theft of the items, which were worth over £300.

The court heard Parks had previous convictions for robbery and burglary.

By breaking into Carl’s flat, he breached a suspended sentence for assault occasioning actual bodily harm against his girlfriend last September.

Mr Hughes said: “He wants to go to prison. When he set about removing these games and equipment, for the first time in his life he was taking responsibility, with the objective that at some point in the future he would be drug-free.”

Parks was jailed for a year, with Judge Keen ordering him to serve 12 months for breaching the suspended sentence, and three months for the burglary, to be served concurrently.

A spokeswoman for the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust said while they could not comment on specific cases, residents can access the town’s substance misuse services directly by dialling a helpline on 01709 447210, if they don’t want to speak to their GP.

“They will be directed to the most appropriate part of the service and an appointment will be made to discuss their specific needs,” she added.

The Rotherham Community Drug and Alcohol Team offers treatment and relapse prevention for adults with drug problems, as well as practical advice, education and support, psychotherapy and detox courses.