Stealing Christmas presents for family members from Fenwick and Sainsbury's landed thief in court

Stealing Christmas presents for his nieces and nephew landed a man in court.

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 11:33 am
Mark Scott, 36, formerly of South Shields, pleaded guilty to theft from Sainsbury's, The Galleries, Washington.

Mark Scott, 36, formerly of South Shields, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from shops when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Lorna Rimell, prosecuting, said the first incident dated back to February this year when he was caught stealing Lego to the value of £230 from Fenwick in Newcastle.

The second was on Wednesday, October 23, when he was spotted trying to steal toys, valued at £249, from Sainsbury’s at Washington Galleries.

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She said of the latest incident: “Staff thought he was acting suspiciously. He was putting toys in a large bag and left the store without offering to pay for them.”

Ms Rimell said he was stopped and said he had taken them for his nieces and nephews.

Scott admitted both thefts and has been banned from entering the stores for six months.

Paul McAlindon, defending, said: “He pleaded guilty to both these matters. On both occasions he was fully compliant with the police.

“There was nothing sophisticated about it, he just walked into the store with little or no planning, he has just picked up the items and tried to leave.”

He said: “He seems to be getting a bit of pressure from his family about Christmas. He has 11 nieces and nephews.”

Mr McAlindon said Scott, who now lives in Borrowdale Gardens, Gateshead, moved out of supported accommodation in South Shields earlier this year because he was getting bullied by people asking him for money.

A spokesman for the probation service said Scott suffers from acute anxiety, stress and depression and was being threatened while living in South Shields.

He said he spends his time supporting his family and both his parents are seriously ill.

The probation officer said: “He took these items as Christmas presents for nieces and nephews because of his financial situation.”

Scott was given a six-month community order, ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge and banned from Fenwick and Sainsbury’s for six months.