Judge tells Chesterfield thief with 36 convictions “excuses are thin”

A judge told a Chesterfield serial thief with 36 convictions for 95 offences “it’s time to stop” as he was sentenced for stealing nearly £250 worth of clothing from town stores.

Thursday, 13th January 2022, 11:02 am

District Judge Andrew Davison told defendant William Smith: “I don’t need to say anything else about your record - you’ve been committing crimes throughout your life.”

Smith, 45, appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates Court charged with swiping pyjamas from M&S and baby clothes from H&M.

Prosecutor Angela Hadfield described how on July 19 H&M staff saw Smith “struggling” with a large back under his arm which “appeared to be full”.

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Smith, 45, appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates Court charged with swiping pyjamas from M&S and baby clothes from H&M

When workers asked if Smith would like to hand over the goods however, he declined - setting off an alarm as he fled the store.

During an M&S raid on November 17 staff managed to recover seven pairs of pyjamas light-fingered Smith had lifted and he was detained.

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Smith’s lawyer Georgia Collins told the judge her client had been “struggling financially” at the time, having lost his job.

She said: “He has misused substances throughout his life - he knows he needs to engage with services.”

However Judge Davison told him: “It’s time to stop - you’ve been regularly caught shoplifting.

“Excuses are pretty thin when you’ve got a record like this.”

The defendant, of Moston Walk, Birdholme, admitted theft.

He was jailed for 20 weeks suspended for 18 months with a thinking skills programme, six rehabilitation activity days and 40 hours unpaid work.

Smith was also made to pay £50 compensation for the unrecovered clothes, £85 court costs and a £128 victim surcharge.

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