A DRUG addict who was given a second chance by a judge to turn his life around has been sentenced despite his refusal to attend court.

Elliott Harper, 28, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday (March 27) despite refusing to get into the prison transport van to attend the hearing.

The thief had been given a chance in early February by Judge Michael Gledhill to turn his life around before sentencing.

He promised to attend Turning Point, an organisation which helps with alcohol and drug addictions, and to visit the probation service.

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However, a day after his promises to the judge, he was caught stealing from a shop and participating in the burglary of a shed.

He then failed to attend his new sentencing date on February 27 and an arrest warrant was issued.

Harper was eventually remanded in custody.

Sentencing him to 24 months imprisonment, Judge Gledhill said: “He told me to give him the opportunity that he really wanted to change his life around and he would go straight to Turning Point and co-operate with the probation services.

“I was moved by his eloquence but it turns out I was completely hoodwinked by him.”

During the sentencing, the court heard that in Oxford on November 22, Harper stole an £800 bike from Park Roads, on November 30 he stole an £800 bike from Glanville Road, and on December 1, stole a £500 mountain bike from The Leys Pool Leisure Centre.

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On December 3, he stole £65 worth of washing tablets and detergent from the Co-op in Rose Hill and on January 24, he stole £70 of washing tablets from the Co-op in London Road.

After appearing in court and promising to turn his life around, Harper was then caught that same week stealing from the same Co-op store.

Prosecutor Andrew Williams said: “After he was released by you, he went again to the Co-op and was spoken to by staff and it was clear he was going to take items regardless, a significant amount.”

He was then involved in the burglary of a shed.

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Defending Harper, barrister Peter du Feu said: “The long and short of it is, there’s a background of chaos. He is a drug addict and lives in a community where there have been investigations to see if he’s being exploited.

“He was before you before where he was given a chance to get some help but he didn’t engage. Unless he tries to change, then prison is going to be his home for the foreseeable future.”

Harper is due in court again within seven days charged with failing to attend court.