‘Prolific’ thief sent to prison

Scarborough Magistrates Court
Scarborough Magistrates Court

A PROLIFIC Scarborough thief who raided a high street store for high-value watches and clothing has been jailed.

Liam Kitching, of Columbus Ravine, targeted Debenhams to bag a £735 haul of designer watches.

Kitching, 27, was jailed for 38 weeks after pleading guilty to three charges of theft at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court.

He also admitted breaching a community order and unpaid work appointments handed down after a previous sentence.

Prosecuting, Kathryn Reeve said Kitching, a former kitchen porter, was caught after leaving the Brunswick store on March 4 with £260 worth of clothing and watches.

Miss Reeve said he fully admitted the offence and was subsequently ordered not to enter retail premises.

However, he returned on March 15 to take six Jasper Conran watches, worth £240, before going back the next day and attempting to take six further timepieces with a value of £235.

Mitigating, Franklyn Garvey implored magistrates to save Kitching from a return to custody, adding that despite his previous record, his was a “case for redemption”.

Mr Garvey said: “He is under no illusions what is likely to happen to him.

“There is a very forlorn hope that he will be able to retain his freedom in one way or another.

“I recognise he has been given chance after chance and it is often said people are in the last chance saloon.

“I dare say he has gone back through the saloon doors, gone into the back office and straight into the sheriff’s office waiting to go to jail.

“However, this is a case of desperation and desolation.

“He had been living rough and fending for himself as and where he could, he was living hand to mouth.

“That was not an easy thing to do and he was left thinking, ‘how the Dickens do I go about sorting out these circumstances?’

“He was also suffering from manic depression and wallowing in self-pity and decided he had to do something.

“There was food he had to obtain and the only way he knew, rather foolishly, was to resort to criminality.”

Mr Garvey said Kitching had acknowledged his demons and had made strides to rectify his situation.

He added: “He has told me he wants to prove he can hack it, that prison is not the place for him.

“The probation service are still prepared to work with him and for them to say that is, quite frankly, a great step forward.

“He engaged with the Ellis Centre and the Rainbow Centre and his time in prison also provided some motivation.

“He is not a lost cause.

“I beg and implore you not to just discard him.”