Thief had the cash to pay for stolen booze

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A THIEF stole two packs of lager from a South Tyneside store – despite having £20 on him.

David Smith picked up two four-packs of Fosters from a convenience store in Ashley Road, South Shields, and left without paying.

He was caught on CCTV and identified when police watched footage.

The 21-year-old, of Westoe Road, South Shields, pleaded guilty to shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

Ian Simpson, prosecuting, asked for compensation to be paid to the store, as the alcohol was not recovered.

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He had been going through a bad phase in life at the time. He is now more postitive and cheery about life.”

Magistrates gave Smith a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months and ordered him to pay compensation to the store of £7.98.