Sus­pended sen­tence for shoplifter dad

Sunderland Echo - - What’s In Your Echo - By Pe­tra Sil­fver­ski­old pe­tra.sil­fver­ski­old@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @pe­trasil­fver NOW HAVE YOUR SAY face­book.com/sun­der­lan­de­choonline @sun­der­lan­de­cho

A sin­gle dad has been handed a sus­pended prison sen­tence af­ter steal­ing cloth­ing worth more than £1,000 to sup­port his kids.

Mag­is­trates heard Colin Pear­son, 37, was strug­gling to pay for essen­tials and school uni­forms for his two chil­dren af­ter their mother left them.

The court heard that as the end of the sum­mer hol­i­days ap­proached, he be­gan shoplift­ing at Deben­hams in des­per­a­tion.

Em­ber Wong, prose­cut­ing told Sun­der­land Mag­is­trates’ Court that, on Au­gust 20, a loss-pre­ven­tion of­fi­cer spot­ted Pear­son at the de­part­ment store in Sun­der­land’s Bridges shop­ping cen­tre.

Miss Wong said: “He was on duty at 2.45pm when his at­ten­tion was drawn to a male who had been in the store on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and sus­pected of theft of­fences.

“He had been wait­ing for him to re­turn to the store.”

Pear­son was found to have stolen 12 Fred Perry tops, worth £675, and was de­tained out­side the store.

He was ar­rested, and, while at the po­lice sta­tion, he asked for two fur­ther thefts from the same store be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

Th­ese were com­mit­ted on Au­gust 16 and Au­gust 18,

The first theft in­volved three Fred Perry tops – worth £145 – and the sec­ond, four Sun­der­land foot­ball shirts and three Fred Perry tops, worth £339.

Pear­son, of Deer­ness Road, Hen­don, pleaded guilty to theft.

The of­fences put Pear­son, who has 39 pre­vi­ous thefts on his record, in breach of a con­di­tional dis­charge.

Anna Haq, de­fend­ing, said: “Mr Pear­son is here to be sentenced for a £675 theft.

“He asked for two fur­ther of­fences to be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion at the po­lice sta­tion.

“Mr Pear­son fully ac­cepts he’s gone into the store and taken the items.

“His part­ner has left him with their two chil­dren.

“He has no fi­nan­cial sup­port from the part­ner, who is still claim­ing the full en­ti­tle­ment in re­la­tion to the chil­dren.

“All he has is his own in­di­vid­ual ben­e­fits.

“Over the school hol­i­days, he’s been in­creas­ingly wor­ried about the prospect of the chil­dren re­turn­ing to school.

“He has had a lot of costs in re­la­tion to school uni­forms.”

Pear­son was sentenced to seven weeks’ im­pris­on­ment, sus­pended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £484 in com­pen­sa­tion.

“Mr Pear­son fully ac­cepts he’s taken the items” ANNA HAQ

The Bridges shop­ping cen­tre and, inset, Colin Pear­son.

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