A “prolific shoplifter” who stole more than £1,770 worth of goods from Tesco, Boots and Co-op to fund a drug addiction has been ordered to pay just £50 in compensation.

Adam Daniel James Haggett, 41, of Poole Hill Road, Bournemouth, stole £224.40 worth of Cadbury’s chocolate from Tesco in lower Blandford Road, Broadstone, on March 3 last year, and £113.70 worth of confectionary from the same store on March 10.

On February 16 last year, he also stole a bottle of vodka from the Co-op store in Sandford, Wareham, worth £22.50.

The defendant, who had a host of previous convictions, then stole goods from Boots in Station Road, Swanage, worth £558.92, on April 25. Four days later he stole goods worth £854.92 from the same store.

On July 17, he was found in possession of heroin, “consistent with personal use”.

And Haggett appeared for sentencing at Poole Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, February 17.

Prosecuting, Charles Nightingale told the court Haggett used a device in carrier bags to get items past security.

Mr Nightingale said on one of the occasions the bag was recovered but Haggett managed to get away with items concealed in his clothing.

James Moore, mitigating, said: “I can’t be apologetic for someone going into shops and stealing high value items.

“It is antisocial, if everyone did it, what sort of degenerate society would we be living in?

“Mr Haggett’s resilience was broken at a very early age. He saw domestic violence at a weekly basis.

“Mr Haggett used drugs to escape his own trauma. The last theft offence was April 29, we are not far off a year anniversary, that is remarkable.

“He was put under pressure by his partner to provide for his family, that is one of the factors. If someone can get a grip on substance abuse it can massively improve their life.”

Haggett was given a community order of 18 months, made part of a drug rehabilitation programme for six months, ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days and to pay £50 compensation to Boots.

Magistrate Martin Arthur said: “It is sad that you are here, you do have a problem. You are going out to get money for drugs.

“We don’t want to see you again and we hope [the rehabilitation programme] helps.

“As far as compensation, it is the most important thing, these shops struggle, they may be big but they are struggling.

“You have outstanding fine already, there is no point putting it on you, it will take you five or more years to clear it.

“It is unusual, we are making this because we feel there may be a chance this could help. We are giving you a chance.

“If you come before us again, all that will be left will be custody. It is in your hands but it is not going to be easy.”