Dad chased by security guard after stealing air fresheners worth £52

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court
The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court

A shoplifter who fled security staff while pushing his child in her pushchair has been jailed.

Ben Judge, 22, stole air fresheners costing £52 from Wilko in the Middleton Grange shopping centre in Hartlepool.

When he was stopped, Judge had diazepam tablets in his sock, and a Kinder egg containing cannabis hidden between his buttocks, Teesside Crown Court heard.

“When leaving the store he was challenged by security staff,” said Jenny Haigh, prosecuting.

“Judge was pushing his four-year-old daughter in her pushchair.

“There was a short chase on foot before he was detained.

“Three diazepam tablets were found in his left sock, and a Kinder egg containing cannabis was hidden between his buttocks.

“Judge said he didn’t know how the tablets came to be in his sock, and the cannabis was a £10 deal.”

The court heard Judge stole household items from B&M Bargains at the Teesbay retail park in Hartlepool.

“He put a number of things in a trolley,” said Ms Haigh.

“He then pushed the trolley along the paint aisle before attempting to leave the store without paying.”

Judge, of Farr Walk, Hartlepool, admitted theft on March 19 and April 11.

He admitted being in breach of two suspended sentences.

“One of those was imposed for theft from Debenhams,” said Ms Haigh.

“The other was for a burglary at a day centre.”

Stephen Constantine, defending, said Judge had complied with some of the requirements of the suspended sentences.

“He completed the curfew and the rehabilitation requirement days,” added Mr Constantine.

“After missing an appointment at the benefits office his benefits were sanctioned, leaving him with no money.

“The offence at Wilko was spur of the moment, he was using the store as a shortcut, intending to enter one door and leave by the other.

“He is disgusted and ashamed to think he behaved as he did when his daughter was present.

“Mr Judge is finding custody difficult, but on release he has plans to sort out his finances and tackle his drug use.”

Judge Peter Armstrong jailed Judge for 20 weeks.

The judge told him: “You are in breach of two suspended sentences.

“It is now impossible to avoid the activation of those sentences.”