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Booze thief defied community order to steal cocktails

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 13, 2013

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WINE and cocktails were the drink of choice for a Burton shoplifter who stole alcohol just weeks after being put on a community order for the same offence.

Nathan Howard ran off from Family Bargains after grabbing alcohol and secreting it in a bag on April 22, Burton Magistrates’ Court was told yesterday.

The 19-year-old, who pleaded guilty to theft from a shop, committed the offence just 20 days after he was sentenced to a probation order for stealing from a shop yet again.

Prosecuting, Emma Thompson told magistrates: “This defendant was seen to enter the store and place the items in a rucksack before he leaves without making payment. He ran off from the store so he could not be detained.”

She added that this was the third theft offence this year which Howard, of Cross Street, Burton, had been convicted of.

In mitigation, John Skinner said Howard had fallen on hard times after being thrown out of his grandmother’s house following ‘a misunderstanding’.

“It’s very straightforward why he committed the offence. At the time he had moved into a new flat, he had no money and he wanted a drink.

“He recognises he has an issue with drink,” he added.

The solicitor appealed to magistrates to let Howard continue with the probation order to allow him to address issues with his offending.

“At this moment in time he genuinely wants to avoid further offences,” he added.

A probation officer in court said he had been progressing well on the order.

And magistrates clearly agreed, as they imposed a six-month conditional discharge, and let the community penalty run. He also has to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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