A thief “shot himself in the foot” after giving police a false name when he was arrested for stealing chocolate bars from a South Tyneside store.
Graham Ford was spotted on CCTV putting the items in the hood of his young child’s pram while in Home Bargains, in South Shields, with his girlfriend.
But when he was arrested over the matter he gave incorrect details to police before being handed a caution.
When police discovered he had not provided his real name, Ford was arrested again – when police found him in possession of cannabis.
The 35-year-old, of Chesterton Road, South Shields, entered guilty pleas to the shop theft charge, and two further charges of obstructing a police officer in his duty as well as being in possession of a Class B drug.
Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “When he was arrested by police he gave a different name and address.
“He fully admitted the offence and was given a caution.
“When it came to the officers’ attention he gave incorrect details, he was arrested for obstructing a police officer and gave a false name.
“During that arrest, police found a small quantity of cannabis bush on him.”
Ian Haq, defending, said: “Mr Ford was in Home Bargains with his partner and young child.
“The child became distressed, and Ford was anxious to leave.
“He decided the quickest way to do that was to leave the store without paying for the items.
“When he gave a false name, he simply panicked.
“He didn’t know what he expected to achieve as he fully expected to be caught out at some point.
“The irony is, Mr Ford has not been in trouble since 2006 and may well have been eligible for a caution had he given his correct details.
“He has effectively shot himself in the foot as the caution he should’ve had has gone, and he has ended up with two extra charges.”
The chocolate bars, valued at £7.86, were recovered following Ford’s initial arrest.
Ford was fined £65 for the theft, another £65 for the drug possession and £50 for obstructing an officer in his duty.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £20 – making for a total court bill of £285.