A FORMER serviceman suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder has been given another chance by magistrates.

Jason Wargen of Pow Green, Bosbury, Ledbury was given a conditional discharge at Hereford Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to two counts of theft.

Nicola Ritchie, prosecuting, said Wargen was detained by a witness at Foley Removals in Ledbury on November 24 last year after he picked up a stereo and walked out of the building without paying for it.

Then on December 6 at the Co-operative shop at the petrol station in Holmer Road, Wargen stole two bottles of wine which cost £6.60.

Wargen could not remember committing the second offence and told police he was disgusted by his behaviour.

The court heard he was given a 12 month community order on September 9 last year for three shop thefts and common assault.

He was also fined on October 26 for a shop theft and on New Year’s Eve he appeared at Kidderminster Magistrates Court for shop thefts and given another 12 month community order, which included 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Chris Read, defending, said Wargen lives at accommodation for veterans, is suffering from PTSD and has significant problems with alcohol.

He said: “He commits offences of these type when he has been abusing alcohol. Nine out of ten times he has no memory of the incidents at all.”

Mr Read said Wargen is seeking help and is receiving support from both Addaction and the probation service.

He said: “He is not someone who drinks on a normal basis. He is what is referred to as a binge drinker.”

Wargen is currently on a work experience placement in construction, which he hopes will lead to a full-time job.

Mr Read added: “There is a lot of things going on in his life if he can simply get a hold of his drink problem.”

Magistrates took into account the current community orders, which are still helping Wargen, and that he is engaging with Addaction and the probation service.

Wargen was sentenced to a 12 month conditional discharge. Court costs were waived but he was told to pay a £20 victim surcharge.