Alcoholic stole air fresheners from South Shields store in bid to get arrested

Morrisons in South Shields. Pic: Google Maps.
Morrisons in South Shields. Pic: Google Maps.

An alcoholic raided a South Tyneside store in a bid to get himself arrested – so he could continue to get help from the probation service to beat the booze.

Christopher Hope snatched air fresheners valued at £34 from Morrisons, in Ocean Road, South Shields, only to be detained by staff outside the store.

he feels his best hope is the probation service.

Christopher Brown

When he was caught, the 34-year-old said he wanted to get arrested so he could ‘get his probation sorted’.

Hope, of Devonshire Street, South Shields, was hit with a £165 court bill – and told he could have accessed alcohol services voluntarily even when his current community order with the probation service ends in October.

Rebecca Laverick, prosecuting, said: “He was seen in the shop committing the offence and was detained when he ran out.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He is a long-term alcoholic and doesn’t shirk away from that.

“He feels his best hope is the probation service – they keep his head above water and he wants to re-emerge as best as possible.

“He has done something foolish here. What would he want with air fresheners?”

The court heard that Hope has complied with an existing community order, which includes alcohol treatment.

Addressing District Judge Roger Elsey, Hope said: “I wouldn’t be able to cope without the probation service. I want to keep working with them.”

Judge Elsey said: “You can access alcohol support services voluntarily. You understand that now.”

Hope was given a six-month conditional discharge and must pay a £150 criminal courts charge and a £15 victim surcharge.