Lager thief damaged mobility scooter in botched raid on Asda Boldon

A frantic booze thief damaged a mobility scooter and security scanners while fleeing drunk from an Asda store.

Connor McLaughlin, 23, also dropped and smashed some of his stolen lager stash when confronted by a security guard.

In charging towards the exit, McLaughlin, of Windemere Street, Bensham, Gateshead, made the guard defend himself with a metal pallet.

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Prosecutor Greg Flaxen told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court the defendant entered the Boldon Colliery outlet with a pal on Friday, September 9.

Asda Boldon.

They went to the alcohol aisle and picked up two bottles and bagged them – and ran outside without paying.

Mr Flaxen added: “They were seen re-entering by the guard.

“The defendant picked up two cases of lager and ran towards the exit but was prevented by the same security guard.

“The guard managed to grab one case. The defendant kicked a mobility scooter and damaged two security scanners.

“The second crate of bottled lager was dropped and damaged. The police were called.

“They located the defendant in the car park, and he attempted to run away but was caught.

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“He was interviewed and said he’d had too much to drink and wouldn’t normally behave like that. There was some degree of planning.”

McLaughlin pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and theft from a shop.

The court heard he has eight previous convictions but none since 2015 as a youth.

Michelle Stonley, defending, said McLaughlin suffered with serious mental health issues and his behaviour had been affected by mixing medication with alcohol.

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She added: “He did state in interview that he didn’t recall the incident and that it was due to his level of intoxication.

“He did ask to see the CCTV and then made full admissions, he said he was one of the males.

“He is extremely remorseful for his actions that night. He was mixing with the wrong crowd and began to drink.

“He now realises that he can’t drink with his medication. Since this incident, he’s not touched alcohol.”

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Jobless McLaughlin was ordered to pay Asda a total of £250 compensation, with £85 court costs.

On leaving the hearing, he told magistrates: “It won’t happen again.”

The court heard his co-accused had been sentenced separately and jailed.