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Addict who skipped drug treatment court jailed

Magistrates Court

A man who went on a three-month burglary spree will spend more than 20 months behind bars after he absconded from drug treatment.

Melvin Holdipp, 34, earlier pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court to ten counts of burglary, four counts of theft and two counts of possession of diamorphine, commonly known as heroin.

Speaking during his sentencing yesterday, Magistrate Tyrone Chin said of Holdipp: “He needs to surrender and get his addiction under wraps.

“We need conviction that you will commit to this and get this addiction under control.”

Holdipp, of no fixed address, admitted stealing goods valued at more than $4,500 between August 30 and October 11 last year.

He targeted Price Rite in Warwick, the A-1 MarketPlace Supermarket in Smith’s, the Robin Hood Pub in Pembroke, Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, the Bermuda Athletic Association in Pembroke, and the North Village Community Club, also in Pembroke.

He later attempted to steal alcohol from North Village on October 9. He was seen on multiple cameras and left damaged property in his wake.

When arrested, he was caught with two small bags containing a brown substance, later discovered to be 0.11 gram of heroin.

Holdipp admitted the offences on October 14 last year and told the court that he stole the goods to trade for drugs.

He was ordered that same day to attend Drug Treatment Court and remanded until it was completed.

The court heard today that as soon as he was released from prison in January, Holdipp relapsed and absconded from treatment.

Paul Wilson, for the Crown, said that Holdipp needed the structure of incarceration to get well and that he did not want to do so on his own.

He said: “He needs help. He recognises he needs help and he was getting it when he was incarcerated.”

Patricia Harvey, for the defence, stressed that he did want to get better and simply needed help.

She explained: “This is a man who is in the grips of one of the most addictive drugs. That is why he never showed, not because he did not want to.”

Ms Harvey added: “He is a bright young man and he needs to get his act together so that he can contribute to society.”

Mr Chin sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment for the burglary and thefts and 75 days’ imprisonment for the drug offences.

He ordered the two to run consecutively, and that Holdipp receive treatment while incarcerated as well as two years’ probation once he leaves.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases.