A HEROIN addict obtained more than £100 worth of cigarettes and alcohol from shops in Wem using a stolen bank card, a court heard.

Paul McGarry, 41, who committed the offences in January this year, was jailed for a total of 16 months.

He appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court having also been charged with burglary at a church during which an historic stained glass window was damaged.

The court heard that McGarry had a history of offending and had consistently targeted charity shops and churches.

McGarry, of Clifford Road, Market Drayton, had admitted burglary of the church in June last year and six allegations of fraud.

Suzanne Francis, prosecuting, said the defendant had used a stolen bank card to buy drink and cigarettes worth around £113 at six shops in Wem in January this year.

McGarry broke into the church in Shrewsbury between June 8 and 11 last year and stole charity tins and till floats.

Damage to the church's 16th century stained glass window – of German origin which was installed in the 1800s – was estimated at £12,000, the court was told.

Ms Francis said McGarry had 35 previous convictions and was regarded as a "prolific and high risk" offender.

Kevin Jones, for McGarry, said that while his client's offending passed the custody threshold he suggested McGarry be given a chance to "break the cycle" of his criminality.

Passing sentence, Recorder Gregory Pryce said that McGarry had 'violated' the church and caused enormous financial and sentimental damage.