Shropshire Star

Telford 'Monkey Dust' addict spared jail for theft spree

A Telford man who got hooked on Monkey Dust two years ago has been spared jail after admitting a raft of theft offences.


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Bradley Howes, aged 26, of Hollybush Road, Woodside had no criminal convictions until 2022, Telford Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.

But the court was told that between December last year and April this year Howes conducted a crime spree involving thefts from a number of Telford shops.

Ms Charlotte Morgan, prosecuting, told magistrates that among the items stolen by Howes were a Karcher pressure washer from Wickes, a karaoke machine from Asda, a fish tank from Pets at Home, a shisha pipe from a newsagent as well as an air fryer from bargain store B&M.

In total he was charged with nine offences, which included the theft of a gargoyle from a residential garden as well as one charge of fraud after he attempted to return a stolen item to a shop with a fake receipt.

In defending Howes, solicitor Jonathon Mason told the court that his client, who had been remanded in custody following his arrest earlier this month, had previously been a man of good character.

He said: “In 2022, he got addicted to Monkey Dust. When he was sent to jail earlier this month, I thought it was the best thing for him – he may not have agreed at the time but I have since spoken to him, and even though it has only been two weeks, he now knows he can go without the drug.”

He added that if magistrates wished to jail Howes it was “up to them” but he said his client would “not get the help he needed” if he was given a custodial sentence.

Magistrates sentenced Howes for three weeks in prison for each offence – a total of 39 weeks - but they suspended the term for 18 months so Howes could “address [his] addiction”.

He was also placed on a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement and ordered to pay £160 compensation to two of his victims.