A THIEF who stole a breast pump and mascara from a South Tyneside store while subject to two suspended prison terms has been handed a ‘last chance’ to stay out of jail.
Steven Taylor snatched the items from Boots in Jarrow on Monday valued at £130 before selling them for just £20 to buy booze.
The 32-year-old, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to a charge of shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The court heard that he was given a nine-week jail term, suspended for 12 months at North Tyneside Magistrates in February and a 12-week term, suspended for 18 months, at the same court earlier this month.
Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “A shop assistant was in the store on Monday when she heard the security alarm being set off and a male leaving the store.
“She checked the CCTV and saw he had ran off with the breast pump and mascara.
“Police were informed and he was arrested some time later in the day. He was taken to a police station and said he was short of cash and had sold on the items for £20.”
Mark Richardson, defending, said: “He appreciates the difficulty he is as he is in breach of two suspended sentence orders.
“He is aware that your starting point is activation, in part or full, of the suspended term.
“I would ask you to take an exceptional course of action and give him a conditional discharge.
“He was a resident at Byker Bridge House in Newcastle but was evicted on February 28.
“He has been homeless and living in the doorstep of Marks & Spencer.
“On this day, he decided he needed some alcohol to get him through this situation.
“Clearly, he didn’t have any use for the mascara or the breast pump. He sold it to buy alcohol.
“He has been making effort to secure accomodation and some accomodation has now been found for him.
“He entered an immediate guilty plea and should be given full credit for that.”
Mr Richardson urged magistrates to spare Taylor jail and allow him to take up the opportunity of new accomodation to get his life back on track.
Gary Cracknell, chairman of the magistrates, told Taylor: “We are going to give you one last chance. You need to clean up your act. If you end up back in court, you won’t be given another chance.”
Taylor was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
No order for compensation or costs were made due to his lack of means.