AN IMPATIENT thief raided a South Tyneside store of goods for a fishing trip – because he didn’t want to wait in a ‘long queue’.
Magistrates were told James Pearce snatched some batteries, a flask and cloths from Asda, in Coronation Street, South Shields, and left without paying as he feared being late picking up his children from school.
But the 53-year-old was stopped by police soon after while driving.
Pearce, of Dumfries Crescent, Jarrow, admitted a charge of shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The court heard that Pearce had money to pay for the £14 worth of items – but made the ‘foolish decision’ to make a dash from the supermarket.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “On November 20, Pearce entered the Asda store, in Coronation Street, South Shields.
He selected batteries, a flask and cloths. He walked to the till area but walked through without offering payment.
“He was arrested and in interview he said he saw the size of the queue and decided to walk out without paying. he said he had the money but left as he is on his way to pick his children up from school.”
Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “He was fuly co-operative with police when arrested and has entered a guilty plea immediately. He should be given full credit for that. He is 53, a divorcee and has two children, aged five and nine. He did have the money on him and selected the items for a fishing trip but saw the queue was somewhat long and he was a bit concerned he would be late to pick up his children from school.
“He foolishly made the decision to leave the store without paying for the items.”
Lorraine Montgomery, chair man of the magistrates, told Pearce: “This was a deliberate theft. You could have paid for the items or put them back on the shelf and left.”
Pearce was fined £73 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.