A MAN who stole hundreds of pounds of goods from a Southampton shopping centre turned to crime after his life spiralled into drugs and homelessness.

Obidullah Dustokheil had previously led a “blameless” life, and had been employed with companies such as Sainsbury’s and British Gas, since moving to the UK more than a decade and a half ago.

But Southampton Magistrates’ Court was told how the 32-year-old lost his job and later his accommodation, before turning to Class A drugs.

He later began theft, and was spotted on CCTV stealing £270 sunglasses from John Lewis at Westquay.

Dustokheil also stole a £125 jacket from Fat Face and £70 shoes from Matalan, in Harbour Parade.

The court heard how the first theft took place in June, while the latter two offences took place in October.

Dustokheil admitted the thefts, as well as failing to surrender to court bail and committing an offence while on a conditional discharge for two other thefts.

Mitigating, David Adams said Dustokheil had not been in trouble since his move to the UK in 2002.

But Mr Smith said after his client lost his job and accommodation he was forced to move into a hostel, where he began mixing with drug users.

Mr Adams said: “He’d never taken drugs before he was involved in his spiral.”

He asked the court to follow the recommendation of a pre-sentence report, of a 12 month community order, which he said would help Dustokheil.

Mr Adams added: “I urge the court to give him help with his drug habit.”

Magistrates agreed with the recommendation and sentenced Dustokheil to a 12 month community order, which will include 15 days of drug rehabilitation activity requirement. Dustokheil was also ordered to pay back the value of the stolen goods.