Serial Chesterfield shoplifter stole £240 M&S clothes after “earache” from girlfriend
A prolific Chesterfield shoplifter with 140 dishonesty offences stole £240 of clothes from Marks & Spencer to sell for food after a week of “earache” from his girlfriend, a court heard.
Shaun Nicholson, 51, - who has appeared before Chesterfield magistrates 84 times before - was stopped by staff at the High Street store after stuffing a bag with the clothing.
The theft came after Nicholson was previously convicted of stealing a handbag and clothing worth nearly £300 during a raid of M&S and Argos.
Peter Bettany, prosecuting, told how during a police interview after the latest offence on October 20 Nicholson complained “his partner had been moaning that there was no food in his house”.
Mr Bettany said: “He went into town to steal goods he would have taken to a particular pub to sell them to buy food.”
Nicholson’s solicitor Steve Brint, describing his client as “no stranger to these courts”, told Chesterfield Magistrates Court: “Shaun Nicholson has been before the courts most of his adult life.
“He’s known to M&S and is well-known in Chesterfield and has been for many, many years.
“He had a week with his girlfriend giving him an earache so he decided he would resort to type.”
Mr Brint described how the theft came as Nicholson’s money dried up while his benefits were transferred to Universal Credit - leaving him with no income and no food in the house.
The solicitor said Nicholson was now addressing his drug addiction problems - the main driver for his theft offences - with Christian charity Lighthouse Chesterfield.
He said: “His drug intake has severely reduced - he is moving forward and trying to address his issues.
“Drugs are no longer an issue for the defendant and because of that theft is no longer an issue.”
A magistrate told Nicholson: “It seems such a shame - you were doing so well.
“But you’ve now blotted your copybook as my grandmother would have said.”
Nicholson, of Chesterfield Road, Alfreton, admitted theft from a shop and was jailed for six weeks suspended for six months.
He was also made to pay a £128 victim surcharge and £85 court costs.