Warehouse bosses could have been forgiven for thinking someone was pulling their leg after they discovered a bungling thief had fled with a pair of boots by breaking the leg off one of their display mannequins.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday how Martin Neill, 38, of Pear Tree Drive, Shirebrook, damaged a £1,000 mannequin when he stole the G-Star military boots from the Sports Direct warehouse at Shirebrook.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “The offence took place at the entrance to Sports Direct and CCTV shows Neill approaching where there are mannequins and he decided to steal a pair of boots.
“He pulls the leg off one mannequin and takes a boot and comes back and steals the other boot. “In an interview with police, Neill said he was aware of the dummies and took the boots and sold them on for £40 and used the money to buy food. He accepts he did not need to break the foot of the mannequin.”
Neill admitted the theft and causing criminal damage after the offences were committed in January.
Defence solicitor Deborah Bell said Neill, who has overcome a heroin addiction, complied with officers after they tracked him down and he fully admitted both offences.
Magistrates adjourned the case until March 6 to consider probation reports before sentencing.
Neill was granted bail on the conditions that he does not enter retail premises and must report to Chesterfield police station.