Drug-troubled thief thanks court for giving him a chance

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A thief who is battling to overcome drugs thanked a court for giving him a chance to sort his life out after he stole five power bank chargers.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, July 1, how Graham Raymond Gibbons, 37, of Arundel Close, Chesterfield, stole the power bank chargers from a Lidl store in Chesterfield but after considering his fight with drugs he was given a 12 month conditional discharge.

Prosecuting solicitor Ian Shaw said: “The store manager at Lidl heard the alarms sound at the entrance and she saw a male walking out and she asked if she could have a word with him but he carried on walking.

“Then he stopped and she asked if she could carry out a check and he didn’t reply and she noticed he had a black carrier bag but he ran off.

“She found him on Avenue Road, Chesterfield, and he pointed under a car and the bag was found there and inside were the power bank chargers valued at £34.95.”

Gibbons told police someone in a pub had given him £25 to get hold of some power bank chargers and he had gone into Lidl without intending to steal but when he saw the chargers he stole them.

Mr Shaw added: “Gibbons said it was stupid and he regretted what he had done as a moment of madness.”

Gibbons, who has a previous conviction for possessing heroin and crack cocaine, pleaded guilty to stealing the chargers after the incident on June 16.

Defence solicitor Rob Sowter said: “He was tempted to steal the chargers by something someone had said earlier in the day.”

Gibbons described himself as a significant thief when he was younger, according to Mr Sowter, and he has a previous drugs conviction from January but that is where his problems have laid in the past.

Mr Sowter added: “His various medication interacts and sometimes they block each other out and that can affect his mood and he can have a relapse and he doesn’t want to go back to that life.”

Magistrates sentenced Gibbons to a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

They warned him that if he commits another offence in the next 12 months he will be brought back to court and re-sentenced for the theft of the power bank chargers and any new offence.

Gibbons told the court: “I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity and this chance.”