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'It will kill you': Telford addict gave up drugs but turned to sniffing lighter fuel, court told

By Sue Austin | Leegomery | Crime | Published:

A Telford man successfully kicked his drug habit, only to become addicted to sniffing lighter fuel.

Paul Cotton was told by Judge Jim Tindall at Shrewsbury Crown Court that his new addiction would kill him if he didn’t deal with it.

Cotton, 41, of Hurleybrook Way, Leegomery, pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching a criminal behaviour order that banned him from the possession of any inflammable material in public. He also failed to turn up in court in September.

Miss Naomi Nelson-Cofie, prosecuting, said Cotton was seen on CCTV inhaling butane in Oakengates on July 13 and that on July 17 police were called to Burger King in Telford after Cotton was seen inhaling from lighter refill bottles in the toilets.

On September 2 he was found collapsed on the floor outside a fish and chip shop suffering from the effects of inhaling the aerosol gas.

Judge Tindall was told that in 2010 Cotton received a suspended prison sentence for arson, after setting fire to his house.

Miss Debra White, for Cotton, said her client had been in custody for five weeks having failed to turn up at court in September.

She said Cotton had received help in the past from Willowdene Farm, which worked with people with addictions, was more than willing to attend again.

The judge said: “You became addicted to illegal drugs which had led you to offending later in life. You successfully weaned yourself off these drugs but now use butane.

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“This new addiction will kill you if you carrying on using it.

“You previously did well at Willowdene I believe you can beat this as well.”

Judge Tindall imposed a community order to include 20 activity days that would include attending Willowdene.

He activated two months of the suspended sentence but said that Cotton had already served the equivalent of the sentence having been arrested and remanded in custody when he failed to turn up in court in September.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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