Thief with 40 convictions walks free after stealing coffee to pay off debt

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A PROLIFIC thief was caught out by keen-eyed staff after stealing from a South Tyneside store in a bid to pay off a debt.

Daniel Flood snatched four jars of coffee – valued at £20 – from Lidl supermarket, on Boldon Lane, South Shields, but failed to make a clean escape after being spotted leaving the premises.

You have to change or you will keep coming here and will end up with a period of custody or community orders. It’s up to you – it’s as simple as that.

Dave Errington, chairman of the magistrates

Two staff members followed the 35-year-old as he left the supermarket and requested he return to the scene of the crime with his stolen haul.

Police were called and Flood was arrested.

Flood, of Boldon Lane, South Shields, admitted the charge of shop theft when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard that he has 40 convictions for theft on his criminal record.

He was warned that he could end up behind bars if he doesn’t keep out of trouble.

Derek Walden, prosecuting, said: “The incident took place at 1.20pm on March 5 in the Lidl store, on Boldon Lane, South Shields.

“The defendant selected four jars of coffee, put them in a bag and left without paying.

“The deputy manager of the store and another member of staff followed him out of the store and caught up with him.

“They requested he come back to the store and he did.

“The police were called and during interview, he made full admissions.

“He said he intended to sell the coffee as he owed some money.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He has entered an immediate guilty plea to the offence.

“During interview with the police, he apologised for his actions and said it was a stupid thing to do.”

Dave Errington, chairman of the magistrates, told Flood: “You have 40 thefts on your record.

“You have to change or you will keep coming here and will end up with a period of custody or community orders. It’s up to you – it’s as simple as that.”

Flood was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £15 victim surcharge.