A 38-YEAR-OLD former prisoner who was caught on camera being apprehended after stealing £4 from a mother’s purse could be facing jail.
Terry Smith, who already has 48 previous convictions, took a legal high with vodka then stole a mother’s purse from the top of her child’s pushchair.
Smith, of Calais Road, Horninglow, appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court yesterday to admit stealing £4 from Shazia Amer’s purse on June 22. He was then caught on camera in Friars Walk, Burton, being arrested (pictured).
Giles Rowden, prosecuting, said: “It was 1pm when Mrs Amer had been near Barclays bank in High Street, Burton, with her child in a pushchair. She had her purse on the hood of the pushchair.
“The defendant ran towards her, picked up the purse and ran away. She screamed and this alerted witnesses who said they saw the defendant running away and discarding the purse.”
His most recent conviction had been for shoplifting in June 2013 for which he was sentenced to four weeks in prison.
Neil O’Driscoll, defending, said: “This is his first appearance for this offence but he is no stranger to this court with 48 previous convictions – 21 for theft.
“There were aggravating features because the child was in the pushchair, but it is not a robbery, it is a straight forward theft, and was opportunistic.”
He added that Smith had no memory of the theft due to his intoxication but said he had not been drinking for ‘four to six months’ previously.
Before the offence, he had consumed the legal high, two bottles of vodka and two cans of Special Brew with a friend.
Mr O’Driscoll added: “When he was informed of this offence by the police he said he was so, so sorry.”
Smith’s case was adjourned until July 15 when he is due to reappear for a pre-sentence report which magistrates warned would be open to all-options including the possibility of of a custodial sentence.
Smith answers unconditional bail.