A hapless thief was caught red-handed carrying out a supermarket wine raid - just a day before he was due in court for stealing from the same store.
Darrel Elliott was spotted by keen-eyed staff swiping two bottles of red wine from Aldi, in Chichester Road, South Shields on Thursday, June 16.
He said to the police, ‘Oh I’m in court tomorrow’.Paul Anderson
When he was arrested by police the 42-year-old admitted he was due in court the next day for snatching groceries from the same premises three months earlier.
Elliott was given a four-week curfew when he appeared before magistrates for the first offence last month before being ordered to extend his indoor stay on his latest date in the dock.
Elliott, of Westoe Road, South Shields, admitted stealing the booze, valued at £7.98.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, questioned why the two offences had not been tried at the same hearing to save on court resources.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “He was given a four-week curfew by magistrates when he appeared in court on June 17.
“The day earlier, he went to the store and put two bottles of wine in his pockets.
“He was detained and the goods were recovered.
“He said to the police, ‘oh, I’m in court tomorrow’.
“He said he had gone into the store with the intention of stealing the drink.
“He had some drink that day but wanted more and didn’t have the money to pay for it.”
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “It would’ve made more sense to link all of these matters up on June 17.
“It is a straightforward theft.
“You (the magistrates) should approach it on the basis of what sentence you would have passed if you were dealing with both matters.”
Elliott was handed a fresh 24-day curfew and ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge.
Prosecution costs were waived as Elliott already owes more than £1,800 to the court.