THEFT and cannabis offences have led to a 12-week prison sentence for a prolific offender from St Austell.
Raymond Dean was described by his solicitor Mark Charnley as a "nice lad whose life has been ruined by drink and drugs".
Chairman of the bench Dr Judy Hultgren told Dean that one of his offences – stealing a Cancer Research charity box and its contents – had been "particularly despicable".
Dean, aged 29, of Penrice Park, appeared before Bodmin magistrates in custody on Thursday when he admitted possessing 0.2g of cannabis, the theft of the charity box, located in Domino's Pizza in St Austell, and the theft of a pedal cycle valued at £249.99 from Halfords in Truro.
Mike Brown, for the prosecution, said the cannabis, valued at £1, had been seized from Dean on January 4 after he was stopped in Eliot Road, St Austell. He told officers that it helped him with his heroin withdrawal.
Of the charity box theft on January 26, he said he stole to survive and needed to eat.
The bicycle, later recovered, was wheeled out of the store by Dean on the following Tuesday after he made inquiries about servicing.
The court was told that Dean had 43 previous similar convictions for theft.
Mr Charnley said he had known Dean "all his offending life" and he was "a nice, polite lad when sober". Dean had been released from a prison sentence in November last year and had since failed to take up the chances offered to him to tackle his problems. He had experienced periods of living rough.
Dr Hultgren told Dean custody was the only suitable sentence because he was a persistent offender who had failed to take opportunities to address his addiction.