Teenager went on shoplifting spree

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A MAN “hit the bottle” after his relationship broke down and went on a shoplifting spree to steal alcohol.

Gary Dowson, 19, stole booze from three off-licences within the space of three days.

On March 14, he went into the Manor Wines shop, in Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, and picked up 24 bottles of Desperado beer, worth £38.61, before leaving without paying, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard. Prosecutor Lilian Atkinson said later that day Dowson went to the Tesco Express store, in Catcote Road, and stole two packs of Budweiser beer, which cost £15.

Three days later, on March 17, he stole three bottles of Cactus Jack alcohol-mix drink, costing £13.97.

Mrs Atkinson said Dowson was identified from CCTV footage and made full admissions.

Dowson, of Ivy Grove, Hartlepool, admitted three thefts.

Neil Taylor, mitigating, said Dowson was a prolific offender who the solicitor “thought would eventually find himself in prison” until his offending came to a halt in November 2010.

He said he had settled in a relationship but it ended “tempestuously” and he “hit the bottle”.

“So you have three unaggravated senseless offences of theft over a three-day period where he has gone and stolen alcohol,” he added.

“Perhaps the 24 bottles of Desperado tells you all you need to know.

“He was drinking to get over a relationship and did some stupid things.”

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Peter Bowes gave Dowson a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £67.58 compensation and £85 costs.