Court for tourist who stole booze

Scarborough Magistrates Court.Picture Richard Ponter 140109
Scarborough Magistrates Court.Picture Richard Ponter 140109

A prolific thief has been given a suspended prison sentence after stealing bottles of liquor from the Co-op in Whitby.

Paul Leonard (29) was seen acting suspiciously inside the store on Langbourne Road after being spotted on CCTV by the store manager.

At Scarborough Magistrate’s Court, Martin Hawes, prosecuting said: “He places a number of bottles in his basket then takes a bag from his trousers and puts the bottles inside.

“The manager followed him out of the shop and challenged him in the car park of Whitby train station. As he tried to take hold of him, the defendant pulled away and his jumper was pulled over his head and his shoe came off. It seemed that Mr Leonard would rather leave behind his clothing than wait for the police.”

He said in police interview he couldn’t recall the incident as he was on drugs, but when he saw the footage admitted it was him.

Leonard, of Leybourne Terrace, Stockton, pleaded guilty to the theft of two bottles of Southern Comfort and three bottles of Bells with a total value of £94.75.

Mitigating, Danielle Wild said he’d been on a day out with his sister and her partner and it wasn’t his intention to go there and steal.

She added: “The offence was committed at a time when Mr Leonard was addicted to pain killers. It has been a problem for some years. He is addicted to them because he doesn’t take the prescribed dose that the doctor recommends.”

The court heard he had committed 82 thefts and similar offences since 1996.

Leonard was handed a suspended sentence for two months and ordered to pay £145.