A ‘NUISANCE’ offender has been ordered to stay out of trouble or face being behind bars after being spared jail for two shop thefts.
David McDougall stole a digital TV signal finder from Wilkinsons store in South Shields on Wednesday, October 23, before taking £54 of coffee from Morrisons on November 15.
The thefts breached a six-month conditional discharge handed out by South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on September 27 for another theft offence. The 31-year-old was back at the court to plead guilty to two counts of theft and another of committing further offences while subject to a conditional discharge.
John McGlone, prosecuting, said: “At 12.05pm on October 23, a witness at Wilkinsons in South Shields saw the defendant in the store walking down the DIY aisle. He was in the company of another man, and was acting suspiciously.
“He kept an eye on them and saw the defendant conceal something in the waistband of his trousers, underneath his jacket. The worker checked the store CCTV and saw the defendant had taken the item and left the store without paying.”
Police were alerted and McDougall was arrested and admitted the offence, saying he was going to sell the item.
The court heard that McDougall, of Beach Road, South Shields, had also gone to Morrisons supermarket in South Shields, and taken coffee from the shelves and put them in an Asda bag in his shopping basket, concealing it with his coat.
He dumped the coffee in the fresh food aisle after noticing he had been spotted by a worker and left the store.
He was later arrested by police, and admitted the theft. The court heard that drug problems were at the root of much of his offending.
McDougall was given a four-week prison sentence for each of the three offences, to run consecutively. All three sentences, totalling 12 weeks, were suspended for 12 months.
McDougall will also be subject to a community supervision order, working with the probation service for 12 months.
District Judge Helen Cousins told him: “You’re a nuisance. You are constantly offending at a relatively low level. You are committing them because of drug difficulties. Until you deal with the drug issue, it will keep happening.
“Given the regularity of the offending, I am given to impose a custodial sentence, to be suspended.
“I am accepting entirely from you that you want this help.
“If you keep up with it and don’t carry out any offences. you won’t go to prison.
“Best of luck.”