Shoplifter punished with unpaid work

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A shoplifter who claims to have been struggling financially due to benefit sanctions stole three DVDs from a Tesco store.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard this month how Craig McCudden, 27, of Shirland Street, Chesterfield, went into the Tesco store, off Lockoford Lane, Chesterfield, before snatching the DVDs and fleeing from staff.

Prosecuting solicitor John Cooper said: “He was seen acting suspiciously and he selected three DVDs and put them in his jacket and made his way out of the store and went passed the check out tills.

“Staff tried to stop him but he ran off.”

Mr Cooper explained that McCudden was stopped and identified nearby on Sheffield Road by police.

He told police he had gone to Tesco without any money and admitted taking the DVDs with no intention of paying but claimed he was on Job Seekers’ Allowance and was struggling financially.

McCudden pleaded guilty to the theft of the DVDs valued at £49 from the Tesco Extra after the incident in March. He also accepted breaching a conditional discharge for a previous shop-lifting offence.

Mr Cooper revealed that McCudden has 22 previous convictions for offences involving dishonesty.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said: “He had no intention of stealing but only decided to take something when he was in the store and it was not a sophisticated theft.

“Once he was apprehended by police he admitted his offence.

“The reason behind his actions is financial. He was subject to a Job Seekers’ Allowance sanction.”

Magistrates sentenced McCudden to a six-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work.

McCudden was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £40 costs.