Hartlepool drug user stole cheese to feed his habit

editorial image

A drug user stole aftershave and cheese to get money to feed his habit.

Anthony Clark walked out of the shops with the items and was later identified from CCTV footage, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“The first offence happened at a Sainsbury’s store in Hartlepool,” said David Carmichael, prosecuting.

“Clark tucked cheese valued at £49 under his arm and walked out without paying for it.

“A week later, he entered a Boots store and put £60 of Ted Baker aftershave in a yellow carrier bag before walking out with it.

“He has previous convictions for 75 offences, including 44 offences of theft.”

Clark, 30, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, admitted theft on February 2 and February 15, and he admitted being in breach of a conditional discharge imposed for a previous offence of theft.

Neil Taylor, defending, said in mitigation: “Drugs is his problem, he is also on bail from the crown court for an offence of burglary.

“Mr Clark is on methadone, but he has been stealing to top up.

“He has been doing fairly well on a previous drug rehabilitation order, which it will be in everyone’s interest if he is allowed to continue with.

“When his methadone dose is stabilised, he should be able to stop this relatively petty offending.

“There was no confrontation in either of the thefts, and he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”

Clark was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 weeks, and ordered to pay £194 in costs and compensation.