Guard shops shoplifter

A suspected shoplifter is apprehended by store detective, on Aberdeen Walk, after chasing the man who ran from a store in the Balmoral Centre, at about 9.45am on Saturday morning. Police arrived quickly to take away the suspect.  Picture by Andrew Higgins  112786b   09/07/11
A suspected shoplifter is apprehended by store detective, on Aberdeen Walk, after chasing the man who ran from a store in the Balmoral Centre, at about 9.45am on Saturday morning. Police arrived quickly to take away the suspect. Picture by Andrew Higgins 112786b 09/07/11

THIS is the moment that justice once again caught up with a prolific Scarborough shoplifter.

Richard Davis, 31, of Princess Street, had been warned by police on Saturday not to enter any retail premises in Scarborough other than Family Choice on Princess Square, while he awaited a court date for theft.

However hours later, Davis, who has made 43 previous court appearances, was seen at a number of town centre shops, including Superdrug, The Body Shop, Boyes and Savers.

A store detective, who had been briefed on the bail conditions imposed on Davis, spotted him and gave chase through the town centre, before finally wrestling him to the ground in Aberdeen Walk in full view of shocked onlookers.

Appearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court, Davis admitted breaching his bail and pleaded guilty to the original theft, which he committed in Wilkinsons in the Balmoral Centre earlier on Saturday.

He had attempted to steal a duvet from the store worth £59.

Steve Ovenden, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was subject to bail, with the condition not to enter retail premises in Scarborough.

“He has made 43 previous court appearances, in the main for shoplifting.”

Describing the original offence, Mr Ovenden said: “He went into Wilkinsons carrying a drawstring bag. He placed the duvet into the bag and attempted to leave without paying.”

Davis was seen by store detectives and th e duvet was recovered before they contacted police who arrested Davis.

Mr Ovenden added that Davis was last convicted for theft in February when he was handed a community order. He was sent to prison for theft in September last year.

Shaun Greenan, mitigating, said his client had taken steps to turn his life around in recent months, and that while he had broken his bail conditions by entering the stores on Saturday, he had not stolen anything.

“There is no suggestion he was doing anything wrong other than being seen in the area of the premises,” he said.

“When he left the police station he felt unwell, and he now believes his drink was spiked.

“He had very little recollection of his bail conditions. He felt very strange.

“The original shoplifting was unsophisticated. He took the duvet for his own personal use but it was inevitable he would be caught. It was one piece of stupidity.”

Davis has began to overcome drug addiction, had recently co-operated with the probation service and built bridges with his family, Mr Greenan added.

“There has been a sea change,” he said. “He had a severe heroin problem, but made efforts to ensure he was free of that drug. He surprised and impressed the probation service by attending appointments.

“Over recent weeks there have been a number of difficulties in his life which have resulted in him being under pressure to take drugs again. He is someone who can be given one further chance.

“He has made huge progress. There is a reduced risk of offending.”

Magistrates sentenced Davis to a community order, which will last for nine months.

He was told that he will undergo supervision for the full period and will complete a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement. No order was made for costs.