A man stole £200 worth of meat from a supermarket and sold it on for £30 to fuel his drug addiction.

Robert Stephen Graham, aged 28 from Treves Road, Dorchester, appeared at Weymouth Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to stealing various meat products from the Marks & Spencer store in Dorchester.

Prosecuting, Richard Oakley said that on Friday, November 1, police were asked to attend Marks & Spencer after an alarm was activated by a member of staff.

He said: “Police were told that he (Graham) had left the store having stolen various food items without paying.

“Marks & Spencer estimate the value of the stolen goods to be worth around £200.”

He said the defendant had stolen ‘steaks’ and ‘livers’ among other meat products.

Mr Oakley explained: “He (Graham) says he stole it in order to sell it on to make money to purchase drugs and sold the meat for around £30.”

Kenny Sharpe, mitigating, said Graham has struggled with a class A drug addiction for a number of years.

He said: “We all know crack cocaine is very hard on money, it takes a lot to fund it, and the high doesn’t last very long.

“That’s the motivation behind this theft. He wasn’t stealing to order.”

Mr Sharpe revealed that his client was homeless at the time of the offence and has tried to turn his life around since then.

He was staying at the Bus Shelter Dorset and has managed to find help to try and tackle his drug addiction.

Mr Sharpe said: “He tells me he has been clean for three months and hasn’t used drugs since November.

“He’s at a stable address – he’s back working. He is now back working as a bricklayer.

“There’s a lot there to suggest he’s motivated to turn his life around and he’s made a good start at it.”

Chairman of the bench, Louise Dutton, told the defendant: “For this offence of theft we will fine you £300 and will order you to pay £200 compensation. You will pay a victim surcharge of £32 and court costs of £85 making a total of £617.

“We have reduced the fine due to your guilty plea.”

She added: “We wish you all the best.”