PARTNERS in crime who stole £200 of computer games from a South Tyneside supermarket while serving suspended sentences have been jailed for a total of 17 months.
Liam Hall, 21, and Liam Beveridge, 22, raided Morrisons in Jarrow on Saturday afternoon – despite having the threat of lengthy prison terms hanging over them.
Hall, of Simonside Hall, South Shields, was only given a 36-week suspended sentence for a string of thefts and a burglary at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last week – while Beveridge, also of Simonside Hall, had a 32-week term imposed in December last year.
Both were back at court yesterday after pleading guilty to their latest offence.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “On Saturday, February 1, they were together at 3.30pm at Morrisons in the Viking Precinct in Jarrow.
Hall entered the store first followed shortly after by Beveridge carrying a Morrisons carrier bag.
“Hall made his way to the DVD aisle and selected items from the display.
“He was seen by a security guard who recognised him.
“He was then joined by Beveridge and the items were put in the bag.”
The court heard the pair made their way out of the store separately, with Beveridge detained outside by staff.
Hall left the store without being apprehended, but was later arrested by police. Both men admitted their role in the theft during police interviews.
The court heard the men have more than 30 theft convictions between them, many carried out together.
Iain Jordan, defending Hall, said: “He has entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.
“He is a man of transient accommodation.
“He is never in the same place long enough to apply for benefits, so is always short of money and offends.
“You will be concerned by him offending on a suspended sentence, but I would ask you to consider whether there is an alternative to custody.”
Tom Morgan, defending Beveridge, added: “He has always had problems with accommodation since he was 17.
“He has spent a lot of his teens and early 20s in hostels and temporary accommodation. He has committed the offence as he had no money.
“They have made the decision to go and make money the only way they know how.”
David Gouch, chairman of the magistrates, sentenced both men to four weeks’ custody for theft.
Hall’s 36-week suspended prison term was also activated in full, with 32 weeks of the term to run consecutively to the four-week term, making for a total jail term of 36 weeks.
Beveridge’s 32-week suspended sentence was also activated in full, with 28 of the weeks to run consecutively to the four-week term, making for a total sentence of 32 weeks.