Brothers grabbed cases of lager

A RELIEVED brother hugged his sibling as he was spared jail after they were both caught stealing £20 of lager.

Robert Twidale, 18, and Shaun Bates, 20, landed themselves before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court after swiping two cases of Fosters from the Co-op store in Elwick Road, Hartlepool.

Town justices heard Bates was subject to a 12-month suspended prison sentence at the time and had “a long record despite his age”, while Twidale was appearing for the first time in adult court.

The two men, both of Rydal Street, Hartlepool, had admitted theft on October 10 and Bates also pleaded guilty to breaching the court order.

Magistrates ordered that Bates’ suspended sentence will run for another three months and he will carry out 40 hours unpaid work.

Twidale was fined £65 and both were ordered to pay £50 costs and £10.25 in compensation.

Alan Davison, prosecuting, said: “Shortly before 4pm, Twidale went into the Co-op store while Bates stayed outside.

“He picked up two cases of Fosters lager and walked towards the exit. Bates held the door open for him.

“Descriptions were given to the police and they were found nearby having already drank eight of the 20 cans.

“Both admitted they had gone to the store to steal alcohol.”

John Relton, mitigating for both, said that Bates had played the “smaller role” in the theft and it was Twidale who came up with the idea and entered the shop.

He added: “I suggest the idea came from Robert as he has a drink problem and the evidence points to that scenario.”