AN addict who started using drugs from the age of 10 stole over £100 from his own mother.

At Bolton Crown Court, Barry Gillard, now aged 37, received a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to undertake a course of rehabilitation.

He initially took a £20 note that his mum had left in her house, and then later stole a further £100 from her purse.

Mum, Yvonne Harrison had left £60 in three £20 notes on top of the washing machine, the court heard. Gillard, aged 37, stole one of the notes.

After an altercation he then snatched Mrs Harrison’s handbag, which contained £900.

Gillard later returned the bag, but his mum noticed that £100 of the £900 had been taken from her purse.

Gillard, from Stanmore Drive in Deane, who has a history of drug abuse and addiction dating back to before he was in secondary school, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of theft.

He received a two-month prison term, suspended for a year. He was also ordered by Judge Timothy Stead to do a three-month drug rehabilitation programme.

Gillard thanked the judge for sparing him a prison sentence and vowed to get his life back on track.

The court heard from the probation service about Gillard’s long history of drug addiction and crime to fund his habits — he has 137 previous offences, many relating to drugs.

Defending, Nicholas Ross added: “He started taking drugs when he was just aged 10 and has been addicted to Class A drugs including heroin.”

He said Gillard had stopped taking drugs in the past but had a tendency to relapse during times of stress.

“There have been times when he has been clean, but when something happens in his life he returns to drug-taking,” added Mr Ross.

“He said he now wants to stay clean and feels a drug rehabilitation requirement would help him do that.”

Judge Stead said: “Mr Gillard you are 37 now and you must know that you cannot carry on committing endless offences. If you do you will have no life, and no health.”

“I think it is time to take another chance with you to help you.”