TWO heroin addicts stole a leaf blower belonging to Worcester Cathedral.

Stephen Grant and Daniel Cox, who were homeless at the time, had turned to crime to fund their addictions, Worcester Magistrates Court heard.

Emily Clewer, prosecuting, said: "The leaf blower had been used by the gardener in the grounds and it had been left next to a shed. It was reported stolen by the head verger of the cathedral.”

CCTV showed the two defendants along with a third defendant who did not appear in court handling the leaf blower, which was not recovered.

Mark Sheward, defending Cox, aged 32, of no fixed abode, Kidderminster, said: “He has been a user of heroin for several years. It is true to say most of his acquisitive crime has been committed to fund that addiction.”

The incident took place on June 12, 2018.

Mr Sheward said: “I’m not sure why this took so long to come before the court.

"In that time he has been sent to prison. He fully accepted responsibility for those crimes.”

“Whilst in prison he was able to obtain a methadone prescription and since coming out of prison, to his credit he has been to see Swanswell.

"He’s doing well, he’s attending his appointments with Swanswell who he is engaging with, and he is not using heroin now.”

Mr Sheward told the court: “He is now making progress and hopefully continues in the right direction.”

He added: “He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity which I am sure you will give him credit for.”

Jason Patel, defending Grant, aged 26, who also pleaded guilty to theft, said: “He was homeless and had been for the last part of the year. He had a heroin addiction while homeless.”

“He had no money and no claim for benefits. Therefore he was hungry. He was offered £50 to move the leaf blower and also he was dealing with his addiction.”

Mr Patel said: “Since February he has been moved into St Paul’s Hostel. Heroin is no longer an issue and furthermore since that point he has not been offending.”

He added: “I would ask for a conditional discharge to encourage him to keep up this non offending behaviour.”

Cox and Grant were each given a conditional discharge for nine months.

They were fined £207.50 each in compensation to Worcester Cathedral and a victim surcharge of £20 each.