A “SKINT” thief who raided a South Tyneside store while already subject to a suspended sentence order has been locked up.
Michael Patterson, of Toner Avenue, Hebburn, had only one month to run on the 16-week suspended term when he snatched a £25 razor from Wilko’s store, in Bede Precinct, Jarrow.
He has 36 previous convictions and is subject to a 16-week suspended sentence for 12 months for a sexual assault.
He was jailed for eight weeks yesterday after the 36-year-old – who has 36 previous convictions – admitted shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates were told that alcohol dependency was the root cause of Patterson’s offending.
Rehana Haque, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was seen selecting a razor and leaving the store without paying on March 11. The item was valued at £25.
“When arrested, he said in police interview that he was skint and had sold on the razor for £7.50.
“He has 36 previous convictions and is subject to a 16-week suspended sentence for 12 months for a sexual assault.”
Ian Cruickshank, defending, urged magistrates not to activate the suspended sentence, telling them you couldn’t ‘meet a nicer man’ when he is sober –but drink makes him do ‘stupid things’.”
Mr Cruickshank said; “I accept he is subject to a suspended sentence but that is for an entirely dissimilar matter.
“At the time of the offence, he was 11 months into the suspended sentence order. The offence was borne out of a regrettable long history of dependency on alcohol.
“You have someone here who, in essence, needs help. He is not a bad man, but needs help.
“This is not something he does out of badness, it is an example of his behaviour when in drink.
“When he is not drinking, you couldn’t ask to meet a nicer man.
“But when in drink, he does stupid things.”
David Gouch, chairman of the magistrates, activated eight weeks of the 16-week suspended term, also ordering Patterson to pay compensation of £25, as well as court costs of £85 and a £80 victim surcharge.