A THIEF with a “terrible record” crept into an alleyway at the back of an ice-cream parlour and stole four padlocks that were used to secure the stock.
Shaun Landreth went to the rear of Happy Daze, at Navigation Point, on Hartlepool’s Marina, and found the locks lying insecure near some chest freezers where staff keep extra stocks of ice-cream.
The 34-year-old snatched the open padlocks, worth £40, and sold them for cash to pay off drug debts.
Prosecutor Paula Sanderson told Hartlepool Magistrates’ court: “The staff at the ice-cream parlour keep their stocks at the rear of the shop in an alley in some chest freezers with padlocks on them.
“Staff kept replenishing the stocks so the four padlocks were left insecure.
“The defendant went to the alleyway and saw the padlocks then took them. He was later identified from CCTV footage.”
She added: “The defendant was arrested and said he had gone to the area scrapping when he saw the locks. He handed them to somebody else to weigh in for cash and he was given the money in return. Since then he has spent the money on drug debts.”
Landreth, of Dent Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to theft on June 12.
District Judge Martin Walker did not hear any representations from Landreth’s solicitor and sentenced him to a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work.
He said: “You have got a terrible record. I want to drive home to you that you have to stop offending. It is some time since you have been in prison but if you don’t keep to this order then custody is the only option.”
“You are so persistent, that eventually the court will have no option but to send you down.”