Shoplifter felt he had no choice but to steal

Scarborough Magistrates Court.
Scarborough Magistrates Court.

A 22-year-old Romanian man has admitted stealing a bottle of Jack Daniels from a Scarborough supermarket.

Speaking through an interpreter Petrica Mares, of Lees Road in Oldham, also pleaded guilty to the charge of going equipped for theft – by wearing a blue swimsuit under his clothes to hide stolen goods.

Kathryn Reeve, prosecuting, said that Mares was spotted by security staff in Sainsbury’s, Falsgrave Road, in July. She added: “He selected a bottle of Jack Daniels valued at £37.99 and concealed this within his clothing and left the store.”

She said that the security guard chased him but when he was detained the bottle was not in his possession – it was later found in a nearby bin.

Miss Reeve said: “He was wearing a female bathing costume under his clothing which is said to be the means of secreting the items on his person.”

Martin Christie, in mitigation, said Mares, like a lot of his Romanian compatriots, had been lured to the UK with a promise of employment.

He added: “When they get here it would appear that the work evaporates. They are given accommodation and pushed out to commit crime.”

Mr Christie said that Mares, who had a string of similar offences, felt he had no choice and was just “paying his way”. “The group of people that he came with have all gone back to Romania,” he said.

He added that, because of a recent prison sentence, his client was “destitute” and had no way of being repatriated back to his homeland.

Mr Christie said that Mares was sentenced to six weeks in prison by a court in the north west – he was due to be released today after serving half the time – and this offence could have been taken into consideration but the papers were not delivered in time.

He said: “He has no means of going back to Romania.”

Tony Green, the chairman of the bench sitting in Scarborough Magistrates Court, said that they were going to revoke a previous community order – which had not happened when he was sent to prison.

Mares was given a one-week prison sentence for each offence which would run concurrently – a maximum total of one week. Magistrates also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the bathing costume.