‘Fortunate’ coffee thief escapes a £140 compensation bill to stop Tesco ‘profiting’ from crime

Tesco Express in Sea Winnings Way
Tesco Express in Sea Winnings Way

A fortunate thief who swiped £140 worth of coffee during two raids on a South Tyneside store won’t be made to pay compensation for his crime - because his fellow offender has already footed the bill.

Jordan Emerson and Christopher Robertson snatched the jars from the shelves of Tesco Express, in Sea Winnings Way, South Shields, during two raids in as many days last month.

He has the good fortune of not being liable for the compensation.

Christopher Brown

Robertson was jailed for three weeks by magistrates and ordered to pay the full compensation amount when he appeared in the dock, leading prosecutor Claire Irving to waive a compensation demand in relation to 37-year-old Emerson to ensure the shopping giant didn’t ‘profit’ from the offence.

Emerson, of Crondall Street, South Shields, admitted the shop thefts from May 1 and May 2 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

He was handed a 12-month community order and must pay prosecution costs of £85 and an £85 victim surcharge, but magistrates did not make an order for compensation.

Claire Irving, prosecuting, said; “The incidents were captured on CCTV and the offenders were identified.

“Emerson said he stole the jars of coffee to put food on the table.

“The jars were sold for about £30 on a street corner.

“Roberston was jailed for three weeks as he was subject to a suspended sentence order at the time.

“A compensation order of £140 was made against Robertson, so no compensation should be paid by Emerson.

“Otherwise, the store would be profiting from the theft if both paid compensation.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said Emerson had stolen out of ‘need not greed’.

He said: “This was an offence of need not greed.

“He had absolutely no money as his benefits had been stopped.

“He has the good fortune of not being liable for the compensation as that was ordered against Christopher Robertson.

“The two of them are friends and will have to come to an arrangement between themselves.”