Serial offender stole chocolate from Home Bargains in South Shields

A serial offender with over 180 convictions on his record has appeared before the courts again after stealing chocolate from Home Bargains.

Sweet-toothed Christopher Rutherford stole the confectionery from the discount store in South Shields in October last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that the theft also placed him in breach of a suspended sentence for similar offending.

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Prosecutor Neil Pallister said that Rutherford stole £26 worth of chocolate from the store which he entered with a female.

Home Bargains in South Shields.Home Bargains in South Shields.
Home Bargains in South Shields.

Mr Pallister told the court: "The offence put him in breach of a suspended sentence which had been imposed by this Crown Court on the 8th of March 2021."

That original offence occurred on September 21, 2020 where Rutherford stole passports and money from a woman's flat in Gosforth.

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Mr Pallister said: "Her son was staying with her temporarily. On the morning of the 21st she left her flat for a few hours.

"When she returned her and her son discovered there had been a burglary."

On that occasion, he admitted two counts of handling stolen goods, and was sentenced to 10 months suspended for 12 months.

The now-39-year-old, of Hazlitt Avenue in South Shields, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop and breaching the suspended sentence.

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Jane Foley, mitigating, said: "This defendant is a long-standing drug addict – an addiction he formed when he was a youth.

"He has made numerous attempts to curtail his drug misuse but has succumbed to relapse.

"Mr Rutherford has previously demonstrated an ability to comply with supervision, both on licence and with community-based sentences.

"Custody will serve to punish Mr Rutherford but as we can all recognise it's unlikely to rehabilitate him.

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"It's not going to address the cause of his offending."

Mr Recorder Giuliani adjourned sentencing so a drugs rehabilitation requirement assessment could be carried out.

The judge told Rutherford: "It's important the root cause of your offending is addressed and it's been suggested a DRR examination is undertaken.

"I'm going to grant you bail for that examination to occur."