A DUDLEY man who stole a £120 phone from a schoolboy in the town has been given the chance to continue rebuilding his life after he took drastic steps to resolve his drug addiction.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Mohammed Shafiq broke his bail conditions and flew back to Pakistan after his arrest, where he went "cold turkey" in a desperate bid to get back onto the rails.
Mr Jas Mann defending said the parents of the 29 year-old sent him away after getting to the "end of their tether" over his drug habit and their patience was rewarded.
"He is no longer addicted to drugs and he is now determined to lead a sensible, drug free life."
Recorder Paul Stephens told Shafiq: "It would be easy for me to send you to prison - particularly after you took the mobile phone from the boy."
But he said it was clear he had taken a "tough" option to beat his habit and added: "You have given up drugs with the love and support of your family to whom you owe a debt of gratitude."
Adding: "Now I want to help you stay on the road to rehabilitation."
Shafiq admitted stealing the mobile from the 12 year-old boy outside Grange Park and breaking his bail. He was placed on supervision for 18 months and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work in the community.
The court was told Shafiq was released on bail after he took the phone on January 14 last year but he left the country before the case was scheduled to be heard.
He was then arrested by police officers last month at Manchester airport after flying back to the United Kingdom.