Computer thief left name on cell door

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A THIEF wrote his name on the back of a police station cell door after being arrested for stealing a computer.

Scott Wilson was spotted leaving Asda in Coronation Street, South Shields, with the £269 laptop.

The 22-year-old was arrested nearby and once in his cell, he scrawled his name and ‘HMP Durham’ on the door.

Wilson, of Calver Court, South Shields, had pleaded guilty to theft and causing criminal damage at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court at an earlier hearing.

The case was adjourned for the probation service to prepare a report about him, and he was given a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered to pay the police £25 compensation to cover the cost of cleaning the graffiti of the cell door.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “The laptop was stolen from Asda.

“He was seen cycling away on his bike but police caught up with him nearby and found the computer in his bag.

“He said he was going to sell it to raise some cash.

“While he was in custody, he wrote his name and ‘HMP Durham’ on the back of the cell door in pen.”

Chris Brown, defending, said: “He was in custody and asked for a copy of the police station code of practice and some paper and a pen.

“A comic or magazine might have been more interesting for most of us, but he has the right to read it.

“When he ran out of paper he asked for some more, but was refused it.

“Instead of writing in the book, he chose to add to the cell door graffiti – and if it is anything like the cell doors I’ve seen, there will have been plenty of other names on there.”

Mr Brown added: “It was not malicious and there are plenty of places where people write their names and they are not punished, like school desks or trees.”