Shropshire Star

Shoplifter 'with alcohol problem' stole items from Shrewsbury while 'living in a tent' - court

A shoplifter who stole items from TK Maxx in Shrewsbury while serving a conditional discharge for other offences has been handed an 18 month community order.

Telford magistrates court

John Roberts, aged 43, now of Princess Avenue, Wrexham, had been convicted of stealing handbags and a watch valued at £321.94 from the Shrewsbury store on November 19, 2023.

Telford Magistrates Court, sitting on Tuesday handed down their sentence for all the offences, after considering a pre-sentence report.

Prosecutor Sara Beddow said a member of the public had witnessed the crime taking place and Roberts had been arrested. The property had been recovered.

The prosecutor said Roberts had earlier in the year received a two year conditional discharge for three shop thefts and one public order charge for threatening behaviour in July 2023.

She said the thefts had included taking wine from Tesco in Pride Hill and confectionary from the bus station shop in the county town.

The public order offence had been committed when a shop manager had been watching Roberts. He had said: "Keep staring at me and I'll knock your ******* teeth out."

The court was told that nothing had been stolen in that incident but Roberts had taken objection to being watched.

Stephen Scully, mitigating, said his client had been homeless with an alcohol problem, and had been "living in a tent near to Shrewsbury Ark".

Mr Scully said Roberts' lot did not improve when the Ark temporarily closed.

But Roberts now has accommodation and has "halved his alcohol intake in the last few weeks." He is on benefits because he has arthritis and cannot work because of it, the court heard.

Magistrates decided to impose an 18 month community order to cover all of the offences.

During that time Roberts will have to complete 20 rehabilitation activity days, and 16 alcohol treatment days.

They also handed Roberts a fine of £50 and ordered him to pay a victims surcharge of £114, and costs of £50.

The court heard that Roberts already owes the Crown £1,150 and is in arrears on payments from his benefits.

Roberts told the court that money is deducted at source from his benefits but he would speak to his adviser to make sure the correct amounts are deducted.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.