Opportunist thief avoids jail term
ATHIEF who stole spice racks from a bargain shop has avoided being sent back to prison.
Carl Patrick Simpson, 35, saw his chance to swipe a box containing four spice racks from B&M Bargains on Exchange Street when it was left on a pallet in the loading yard.
But he was spotted by a security guard who was watching CCTV and was arrested, Macclesfield Magistrates court heard.
Simpson, of Red House, Masons Lane, Macclesfield, committed the offence while on licence after release from prison for an earlier offence and risked being sent back to prison for his crime.
But magistrates heard he is making efforts to turn his life around and decided to suspend his sentence.
Prosecuting, Debbie Byrne, said: “The security guard was monitoring CCTV and saw the defendant enter the loading area for staff and deliveries only.
“He walked into the yard and took a box containing four spice racks worth £10 each from a pallet containing stock for the shop.
“He was intercepted and said he thought the box was empty. He started to shout and swear and police arrived and took him away.
“He said it was opportunistic when he passed the open yard and knew the box belonged to B&M.”
The court heard he has 43 previous convictions for 45 offences.
Simpson pleaded guilty on Tuesday, January 5 to theft of the spice racks worth £40 on December 17 last year.
The court heard he’s been working with probation’s community rehabilitation team since his release from prison.
Defending, Tony Birchall, said: “He’s been engaging with the community team but has been struggling with finances since he left prison.
“It was an opportunistic offence and the goods were recovered.
“He is now in settled accommodation with his girlfriend.
“I would ask that his sentence is suspended today. To send him to prison would mean he has to start from scratch.”
Magistrates gave him a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, a curfew from 7pm to 7am and £80 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the bench Denise Rankin said: “This crossed the custody threshold but we are not sending you to prison today.
“This is an opportunity for you. We are told you’re starting to make changes and hope will not to see you again.”
●● Carl Simpson stole spice racks from B&M