Man 'let off with conditional discharge' after stealing from Chesterfield supermarket because he'd been punished for driving offences days earlier

A man who stole almost £380 in groceries from a Chesterfield supermarket has been let off with a conditional discharge . . . because he was punished earlier in the week for a string of motoring offences.

Sunday, 26th January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 12:32 pm

Paul Robert Bates admitted shop theft when he appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on Friday, January 24, after he and a female accomplice tried to made off with trolleys loaded with items from the Tesco Extra, in Lockoford Lane on September 12 last year.

Prosecuting, Becky Allsop said that Bates and his accomplice were stopped by staff in the store’s carpark, and the accomplice had refused to go back into the store.

Bates, 38, of Layton Avenue, Mansfield, had initially co-operated but had too refused to return to the store “when it became clear that the police were going to be called” and drove off in his car.

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Paul Bates tried to steal almost £380 in goods from a Chesterfield Tesco

Staff then recorded his registration number and reported the incident to police, Mrs Allsop said.

But the court also heard that Bates had been given a 12-month community order by Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday, January 20, for three separate motoring offences and the bench felt it was “too complicated to impose a new community order” - stating that it was an unusual step to take.

Mitigating, Stephen Burdon said: “The staff stated that he gave his full details but then didn’t want to wait for the police. He has expected the police to come for him - he’s lived with it for months and the police never contacted him. After being prosecuted for those other matters, he remained in custody and was interviewed regarding these matters.”

He added that Bates, who had 58 other offences on his record, had struggled to find a stable lifestyle and with mental health issues, but he had engaged with the Framework charity, which had helped him and his new partner to find stable accommodation.

Along with the conditional discharge, Bates was ordered to pay £85 costs and a £21 victim surcharge.