Man hit with £165 court bill after stealing 99p drink from South Shields store

Jacqueline and son Nicholas Flowers
Jacqueline and son Nicholas Flowers

A shoplifter was hit with a £165 court bill after being caught snatching an energy drink worth just 99p.

Nicholas Flower was spotted with a can of Red Bull hidden in the pocket of his jeans by keen-eyed staff as he made his exit from the Lidl supermarket in Boldon Lane, South Shields.

At the time he was sleeping rough and stole to sustain himself

Ian Haq

The 26-year-old was escorted back into th premises by store security and was arrested after police were alerted.

Flower, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Angela Narey, prosecuting, said; “On Monday, April 27, at Lidl, Flower was observed by staff with a can of Red Bull in each hand.

“He put one back on the shelf and concealed the other on his person.

“It was seen sticking out of the pocket of his jeans as he walked out of the store without offering payments.

“He was escorted back into the store, and the police were contacted.

“He said he thought that due to the small value of the item, it wouldn’t make any difference to the store.”

The court heard that Flower has nine previous offences on his criminal record.

Ian Haq, defending, said: “At the time, he was sleeping rough and stole to sustain himself.

“He intended to drink the can.”

Flower was given a conditional discharge by magistrates, but he was ordered to pay a criminal court charge of £150 and a victim surcharge of £15.