A RENTON man who stole two vacuum cleaners in separate raids on a Dumbarton shop is putting his own life at risk through long-term substance misuse, his own lawyer has told a court.

Christopher O’Neil’s solicitor made the frank admission as her client was placed on a ‘drug treatment and testing order’ (DTTO) in a bid to tackle the problem at the heart of his offending behaviour.

O’Neil appeared at Dumbarton Sheriff Court for sentencing on Friday after admitting two charges of theft by shoplifting

The 42-year-old, of Tontine Park, stole a vacuum cleaner from the B&M store at the St James Retail Park on January 29 – and then returned to the same shop four days later and stole another vacuum cleaner, along with a quantity of food items.

Sentence had been deferred until Friday’s hearing for an a DTTO assessment to be carried out, and defence lawyer Judith Reid asked for her client to be placed on such an order.

Sheriff William Gallacher asked: “Does he have the wherewithal to stick to it?”

Ms Reid replied: “I’m not sure, but there seems to he a realistic expectation that he’s not going to be here for much longer if he continues to abuse his body in the way is abusing his body at the moment.”

O’Neil’s criminal record includes a conviction for buying alcohol on behalf of a child at the Keystore in Dumbarton’s High Street in November 2017 – just two days after the youth’s 13th birthday.

Sheriff Gallacher told O’Neil: “I’m worried as to whether or not you will actually manage to do this [order].

“It’s anything but easy. It requires a lot of people to be involved, and there is a lot of support available, but it’s not a one-way street – and nor is it your fairy godmother appearing over the hill and waving a magic wand.”

The order was put in place for two years; O’Neil will return to court for the first review of the order in mid-August.