A CASH-STRAPPED thief snatched designer perfume from a South Tyneside store as he “felt bad” about not buying his mother a Christmas present, a court heard.
Dean Coffey made a Boxing Day dash to Asda, in North Road, Boldon Colliery, where he tried to hide two bottles of Armani fragrance under the sleeve of his jacket.
But shop staff weren’t thrown off the scent after spotting the crime on in-store CCTV.
The 23-year-old was detained in the store by security staff until police arrived.
When arrested, he admitted he stole the items – valued at £60 – to use as Christmas presents for his mother.
Coffey, of Perth Avenue, Jarrow, admitted shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Neil Fodor, prosecuting, said: “This offence took place on Boxing Day, the first day of sales for shops.
“A member of staff was monitoring CCTV when he saw a gentleman (later identified as Coffey) picking up two Armani fragrances, and putting them in his jacket, under his sleeve.
“He was detained in the store until police arrived. When interviewed by police, he said he had no money, and felt bad about not getting a gift for his mother.
“He stole the items to use as a Christmas present.
“He had tried to leave the store without offering payment, but was stopped.
“The items were recovered so there is no claim for compensation.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “There were no aggravating features to the theft.
“He gave his explanation when arrested.
“I would respectfully submit he could be given a conditional discharge.”
District Judge Helen Cousins gave Coffey an electronically tagged curfew, to run for 28 days from the hours of 8pm until 8am.
No order for court costs was made due to the defendants’ means.