Op­por­tunist thief avoids jail term

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRIT­TON

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

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