Sentence cut for shoplifter

A MAN arrested for shoplifting who then tried to steal trainers from a police station has had his sentence cut by a judge.

Carl Temple took the trainers from another prisoner in Peterlee Police Station and put them with his own property, Durham Crown Court heard.

“Temple was hoping the trainers would then be given to him with his property when he was released,” said prosecutor Chris Williamson.

“The attempted theft was spotted and the trainers were reunited with their rightful owner.”

The court heard Temple was banned from Peterlee town centre by his bail conditions, but still went there to steal from shops.

“Staff in Farmfoods saw him in their shop and threw him out,” added Mr Williamson.

“He and his partner later went to Iceland where Temple stole meat valued at £30.

“Temple told police he had a drugs debt of £120 and intended to sell the meat for about £3 to put towards the debt.

“He entered McColl’s convenience store in Fulwell Road, Peterlee, and stole toiletries valued at £46.35.

“At about 2,20am one morning, Temple was seen in the basement car park of Asda in Peterlee trying to break into the passport photo machine using bolt cutters and a screwdriver.”

The court heard Temple has been sent to prison 19 times and his record for offences of dishonesty was described by Judge Penny Moreland as ‘extensive’.

Temple, 35, of Twelfth Street, Horden, admitted two charges of theft and two of attempted theft.

Peterlee magistrates jailed him for 24 weeks earlier this month.

He appealed against the length of the sentence to the crown court.

Jane Waugh, defending, said: “There was some confusion about the sentencing at the magistrates’ court.

“Mr Temple felt it was a bit like throwing darts at a dart board, and rightly or wrongly, he was left feeling a sense of injustice.”

Judge Moreland, who heard the appeal with two magistrates, said: “We feel custody was inevitable, but the sentence for one of the attempted thefts was a little harsh.

“We are going to reduce that, which means the total time to serve will be reduced to 16 weeks.”

Temple thanked the judge before he was led away to complete his sentence.