Judge told serial thief his court debt could take ten years to pay off

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A district judge urged a serial thief to get a job because if he stays on benefits it will take him about ten years to pay off his £2,529 of criminal fines, charges and costs.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, March 9, how Dominico Deniro, 39, of Derby Road, Chesterfield, had stolen two TVs from ASDA Living in Chesterfield just a week after he had been released from prison for two other thefts and for handling stolen goods.

ASDA Living at Ravenside Retail Park, off Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield.

ASDA Living at Ravenside Retail Park, off Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield.

District Judge Andrew Davison told Deniro: “You have a long record and owe a vast sum of money and without a job it will take you forever to pay it all off.

“You owe just over £2,500 which will have to be deducted from benefits at £10 per fortnight. It will take you 250 fortnights to pay this off and that will be ten years unless you get yourself a job.”

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam explained how Deniro’s latest offences were committed just a week after he had been released from prison for two previous thefts and for handling stolen goods.

She said: “He went to the ASDA store on November 27 and took a TV worth £130 and left without paying and he was seen days later on December 1 going into the same store and stealing another TV valued at £449 without paying.

“He was spotted on CCTV and identified from the footage.”

Deniro was arrested and made full admissions to police and told officers that he had just been released from prison a week before the first TV theft and he had stolen this TV to sell on for cash.

The jobless defendant, who has 26 previous convictions for 79 offences including dishonesty matters and court order breaches, pleaded guilty to the two thefts from the ASDA store at Ravenside Retail Park, off Chatsworth Road.

Defence solicitor Steve Brint said: “He had £47 when he was released from prison and no support network and his benefits were taking a time to set up and his cash had long since run out.

“By the time of the second offence he had no money whatsoever.

“He is a changed person now. He has given up drugs and the majority of his offences were drug-related.”

The court heard how Deniro is receiving support to overcome his past drug problems and he has been taking part in the Aspire rehabilitation programme set up through Chesterfield FC.

District Judge Davison sentenced Deniro to a 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

Deniro was also ordered to pay £579 compensation which was added to his outstanding balance of £1,950 which he still owes to the court from previous fines, compensation demands, victim surcharges, court charges and costs.

District Judge Davison added: “I am not imposing a further fine because you owe a vast sum of money.”