Man who stole Viagra from pharmacy is not a ‘hardened criminal’ says his lawyer

A cannabis user who stole Viagra from a pharmacy he was banned from “is not a hardened criminal” according to his lawyer.

Stephen Cooper, 46, stole the packet of Viagra from a Lloyds Pharmacy as he needed it for himself due to forming a relationship with a woman, a court heard.

A drugs warrant had been executed at his address in Leek eight days prior to the incident and police found £10 worth of cannabis in his room, StokeonTrentLive reports.

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Now Cooper has been handed a 12 month conditional discharge at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

Prosecutor Karen Wright said police conducted a drugs search warrant at an address in Leek on March 11 and found £10 worth of cannabis vegetation on a bedside table. The defendant returned to the address during the search and agreed to be interviewed.

On March 19 the defendant entered Lloyds Pharmacy in Leek and stole a packet of Viagra.

Miss Wright said: “Four weeks before that he had gone to the pharmacy and tried to steal four packets of Viagra. He apologised. The shop did not tell the police but banned him as they have a zero tolerance policy and he left the pharmacy.

“On March 19 staff noticed him inside the store.

Miss Wright added: “They saw him place a packet of Viagra into a bag and run out of the shop.”

In his police interview the defendant admitted the cannabis was his and he intended to smoke it. He admitted the shoplifting offence. He said he intended to steal the Viagra when he walked in and he used the tablets for himself.

Cooper, of Sandon Street, Leek, pleaded guilty to possession of a class B drug and theft from a shop.

Iain Haley, mitigating, said the defendant had no convictions between 2000 and 2021 but has fallen off the wagon this year.

He said the offences are very low level and added the Viagra was for the defendant’s own use.

Mr Haley said: “He formed a relationship and needed the Viagra to enable him to keep up with the young woman he had formed the relationship with. He is not a hardened criminal.”

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