A SHOP thief who stole a bottle of booze after a row with his brother has been warned by magistrates he could face jail if he doesn’t “become a better person”.
Aaron Dowson was caught on CCTV snatching a £20 bottle of Jagermeister from Sainsbury’s, in Prince Edward Road, South Shields.
The in-store footage was shown to police – who identified Dowson as the raider and arrested him for the offence.
The 25-year-old, of Brunswick Street, South Shields, admitted shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that he is already subject to a 12-month community order, given by the court in June after he carried out a double raid at South Tyneside College last March, in which he stole a metal box worth £80 and a cash register valued at £100.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “At 6.50pm on Saturday, August 9 of last year, a team leader at Sainsbury was informed by another member of staff that a bottle of Jagermeister had been stolen.
“He viewed the CCTV and saw the defendant selecting the bottle and leaving without paying.
“Police attended the store and viewed the CCTV and identified the defendant.
“In interview with police, he said he had drank the bottle.”
Valerie Bell, defending, said: “On the day of the offence he had an argument with his brother. He has gone out and stolen the bottle, which he then drank.
“He is subject to a community order, which still has some months to go. He is complying with that order.”
Dave Errington, chairman of the magistrates, gave Dowson a six-month conditional discharge – but warned him he could face a jail stint if he doesn’t mend his ways.
Mr Errington said: “You need to learn from the community order you are on. You are 25, I look at your record and you have burglary, burglary, burglary, theft.
“Hopefully, this community order is a turning point in your life.
“You need to behave.You need to work with the probation service to make yourself a better person.
“If you don’t learn from this, there is a possibility you could end up in custody.”