Thieves steal £400 of coins from hotel

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Thieves stole hundreds of pounds from Scarborough’s Grand Hotel after breaking into a games machine.

A crowbar was used to jemmy open the machine inside the Empress Suite at the seafront hotel in St Nicholas Cliff.

The four thieves - Jamie Palliser, 20, Lisa Bradshaw, 34, Lauren Shimells, 19, and a second male who cannot be named for legal reasons - took £400 worth of coins from the machine.

York Crown Court heard that the thieving foursome had been scouring the hotel looking for items to steal and had earlier rifled through the pockets of customers’ coats hanging in a cloak area. They were originally charged with burglary but all four later admitted an alternative charge of theft.

They appeared for sentence on Friday when Judge Peter Benson said the incident, which occurred at about midnight on August 12, was “more akin to burglary”.

Prosecuting barrister Jo Shepherd said CCTV footage showed the defendants sneaking into the hotel’s staff area and going into the Empress Suite with a torch and jemmying tool. After being arrested, they told officers they had been drunk at the time and couldn’t remember much.

Palliser had a long criminal record for theft, criminal damage, threatening behaviour, assault, handling stolen goods, aggravated vehicle-taking and burglary.

His defence counsel Patricia Doherty said he had a drink and drug problem and was high at the time of the theft.

Shimells, of Victoria Road, Scarborough, had previous for being drunk and disorderly, making a nuisance call and theft. Last month she was given a community order for assault. Mr Benson sentenced Palliser, of Victoria Road, Scarborough, to four months’ detention in a young-offenders’ institution. Bradshaw, of Friargate, Scarborough, was given a 12-month community order with a 15-day rehabilitation programme.

The judge gave Shimells an 11-month conditional discharge to run alongside her existing community order. All three were made to pay a court surcharge.

The fourth defendant will be sentenced at a later date.