Thief welcomes prison sentence as a chance to beat alcohol problems

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A booze-plagued serial thief who has been jailed has welcomed the chance of support while he is in custody to help overcome his difficulties with alcohol.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on December 6 how Raymond Barry Skelly, 39, of Bale House Drive, Hadfield, struck at Hadfield Post Office as well as at Superdrug and Boots in Glossop.

Becky Allsop, prosecuting, said: “The circumstances of the theft from the post office in Hadfield on November 23 are that he was identified from CCTV picking up a children’s backpack and putting it in a Bag for Life and leaving.

“He was not stopped but one-and-a-half hours later he was in Glossop and was seen in Superdrug picking up an electric toothbrush valued at £60 and --putting it in a bag and members of staff followed and he was challenged but ran off.”

Skelly was later stopped by police and was interviewed for the toothbrush theft, but the earlier theft at Hadfield was not known about at this stage.

While Skelly was released on bail, according to the court, he went on to commit a third theft at Boots in Glossop, on High Street West, on December 5 where he stole toiletries valued at £219.90.

The court heard Skelly has previous convictions including thefts, and he has recently been released from custody and was still under licence at the time of his latest offending.

Kirsty Sargent, defending, said: “These are low level, unsophisticated shop thefts where he was always going to be seen.”

Miss Sargent added that Skelly has been recalled to custody after breaching his licence release arrangements.

However, she said Skelly had committed his latest offences after a relapse into drinking but he welcomes the chance to be in prison to address his alcohol and mental health issues.

Magistrates jailed Skelly for six weeks to run consecutively to his existing custodial sentence for breaching his licence.

He must also pay a £115 victim surcharge and £20 compensation.