Judge suspends sentence for man who stole pills from pharmacy

A Shellharbour man who stole medication from a pharmacy then used it in an apparent suicide attempt has been spared full-time jail.

The man, who the Mercury has chosen not to name, appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Wednesday charged with breaking into the Shellharbour chemist around 2.20am on October 1 last year and stealing multiple packets of prescription medication.

He then went to a nearby reserve, consumed several tablets, and cut himself on both forearms.

He was found by witnesses lying in the gutter on Old Bass Point Road about three hours later.

Officers became aware of the pharmacy break-in and matched bottles recovered in the park to those stolen from the chemist.

Officers arrested the man when he was discharged from hospital 10 days later.

He confessed at the time, saying: "I did it, I'll plead guilty".

Facing Wollongong Local Court yesterday, the man said he had been hooked on cannabis.

He also said he was seeing a psychologist regularly.

Magistrate Mark Douglass said the man had a lengthy criminal record but noted the quantity of drugs stolen was not large.

He also accepted the man was on his way to making "a significant shift" in his own rehabilitation.

Mr Douglass agreed to suspend the man's 13-month prison sentence for the break and enter charge, as well as another seven-month prison sentence for a disqualified driving charge stemming from a separate incident.

Where to get help: Lifeline 13 11 14