Man stole booze from Hebburn store to help him forget his troubles

Court News
Court News

A THIEF stole booze from a South Tyneside store in an effort to raise his spirits because he was feeling low, he told police.

Alan Smith was caught on CCTV snatching bottles of Jim Beam whisky and Southern Comfort liqueur from Asda, in Station Road, Hebburn on Saturday, January 3.

Staff alerted the police, and when the 32-year-old was arrested by them, he admitted stealing the booze as he wanted to get drunk in a bid to help him forget troubles in his personal life.

Smith pleaded guilty to shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “A staff member viewed CCTV and saw the defendant selecting a bottle of Jim Beam and a bottle of Southern Comfort, together valued at £28.98, and leaving without paying.

“Police viewed the CCTV and identified Smith.

“When he was arrested, he said he was feeling low and wanted to get drunk.

“He said he was having a bad time.

“He had been drinking before he entered the store.

“He said he only had about £20 in the bank, so he wouldn’t have been able to pay for the items.

“He said he was embarrassed he had carried out the theft and his judgement had been clouded by the alcohol.”

Charlton Carr, defending, said: “He has entered an early guilty plea.

“He is a working man. He is completely embarrassed by the whole event and has shown remorse when speaking to me today. The offence was totally unplanned, was spur of the moment and is low value.”

Smith, of Bewick Main, Gateshead, was fined £133 and ordered to pay compensation of £28.98 and court costs of £85.