Plymouth dealer took heroin 'to ease painful leg'
A MAN who took heroin to ease the pain of a leg infection started selling the drug and shoplifting to feed his habit, a court heard.
Lee Williams, 42, was jailed for three years and three months for dealing heroin and three thefts.
He used heroin because normal pain-killers were not effective in dealing with a leg infection, Plymouth Crown Court heard.
Williams, of Adelaide Street, Stonehouse, admitted possession of three grams of heroin with intent to supply on August 30 last year.
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He also pleaded guilty to three thefts, including taking a computer hard drive worth £600, last year.
Judge Graham Cottle told him he had "turned his life around" since he was released from a four-year prison sentence for a similar offence in 2005.
He added he had found a good job, as a computer engineer, and was free from drugs.
Judge Cottle said: "That state of affairs continued for some little time until your health began to deteriorate. You returned to the use of heroin.
"Once you had done so you started committed further criminal offences and to deal heroin to support your habit."
He added the leg infection itself was the result of years of heroin abuse before he gave up the drug.
Ali Rafati, for Williams, said he had no previous convictions since being jailed for the earlier drug dealing offence in 2003.
He added: "He got himself trained and worked as a computer engineer.
"If ever you wanted to look at a person who had turned their life around from the pits of hell to living a law-abiding life, then this was it."
But Mr Rafati said that his leg problem arose because of the drug abuse many years before.
He added that his use of heroin also meant he had a tolerance to prescribed drugs which could have eased his pain.