A man who is in the grip of an acute drug problem was granted bail pending sentencing on Wednesday after admitting to a string of thefts from a shop and various petrol stations over a three-week span.

Dylan Spiteri, 26 from Għaxaq, was arrested after he was identified on CCTV footage on the scene of the thefts.

He was easily identifiable, car and all, explained prosecuting Inspector Eman Hayman during the arraignment.

Mr Spiteri admitted to having stolen cash from a Paola shoe store in the early hours of September 27. He also admitted to stealing minimal amounts from a Zabbar petrol station on various occasions between September 15 and October 5.

The most recent episode took place three days ago when he stole cash from service stations in Zejtun and Ghaxaq.

He also admitted wilful damage to third party property.

Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, was informed that the accused’s father, present during the arraignment, had undertaken to foot the bill for the damages.

Defence lawyer Franco Debono explained that in spite of a good and supportive family background, the accused had lapsed into a severe drug addiction that sparked his criminal behaviour. The accused’s father had even been making arrangements for his son to undergo rehabilitation.

In the light of such submissions, Magistrate Galea Sciberras warned the accused that the court would be assessing his attitude and motivation in tackling his problem and upheld a request by the defence lawyer for a pre-sentencing report.

A request for bail was upheld against a deposit of €500, a personal guarantee of €3,000, an order to sign the bail book three times a week and a curfew between 8.30pm and 6am.

Inspector Eman Hayman prosecuted. Lawyer Marion Camilleri was also defence counsel.