Fareham man, 38, stole tobacco to pay off drug debt after threats made on his life 'every day'

A MAN who received threats on his life ‘every day’ over drug debts ‘betrayed’ the trust of a worker to steal tobacco and cigarette papers to claw his way out of trouble.

By Steve Deeks
Saturday, 13th March 2021, 1:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 4:23 pm

‘Opportunistic’ David Featherstone, 38, stole £231.80 worth of Golden Virginia Tobacco and cigarette papers from Esso on Gosport Road, Fareham, on November 17.

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Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard the defendant was a regular in the petrol station shop - located in the same road he lives - over the previous year.

INVESTIGATION_Golden Virginia Tobacco

On the day in question Featherstone asked a member of staff for a roll-up cigarette, which he smoked before later returning and asking for another one.

Magistrates were told that as the worker left the counter and turned her back to go to her handbag she suddenly heard ‘doors slamming closed’ with Featherstone making his getaway through the forecourt.

It was discovered that Featherstone had taken the tobacco and papers.

The worker said she had seen him ‘many times’ over the last 12 months and felt his theft was a ‘breach of trust’ and left her ‘feeling betrayed’.

Portsmouth Magistrates' Court. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The court was told the theft, which Featherstone admitted, was ‘opportunistic’ with him carrying out after ‘problems with drugs with him owing money to people who threatened his life every day’.

Featherstone had also been attacked as recently as Sunday before his court appearance, the court was told.

The PTSD and anxiety sufferer with suicidal thoughts was also now being treated for his heroin addiction and had been ‘clean’ for seven weeks.

Magistrates fined him £80 and told him to pay a £34 surcharge.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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