Barking dope addict

A CANNABIS addict was warned he could be thrown into jail after failing to pay nearly �1,000 of court fines. Squatter Shane Purcell, 21, was blasted for his wilful disregard of the law after it emerged he had not paid one penny in eight months for smash

A CANNABIS addict was warned he could be thrown into jail after failing to pay nearly �1,000 of court fines.

Squatter Shane Purcell, 21, was blasted for his "wilful disregard" of the law after it emerged he had not paid one penny in eight months for smashing windows in an alcohol-fuelled row.

Barking Court heard he spent up to �10 a day on weed - more than his �50.95 Jobseekers' Allowance.

Bench chairman Michael Streisow suggested that his addiction was more important than the compensation cash he owed.

Purcell ended up in court after police discovered nine bags of herbal cannabis worth �10 each as they raided his squat in Roxwell Road, Barking, on October 7.

Compensation

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He avoided jail but was told he would automatically be sent down for 28 days should he fail to pay the �920 compensation imposed at Redbridge Court on February 6.

Purcell was also warned he would still have pay the �920 even if he served time.

The defendant started taking cannabis aged 13 and has a previous caution for a drug offence.

He said: "I really want to change my life. I've been getting a lot of trouble lately.

"It is not easy to change. You can only change in stages. I'm willing to do whatever it takes."

Purcell was ordered to pay back the �920 at a rate of �25 a week. He was also slapped with a �100 fine, �70 prosecution costs and a �15 surcharge.

He admitted possessing cannabis. The drug possession payments will be automatically deducted from his dole money and the drugs will be destroyed.

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