Thief was tracked down by number plate on his motorbike

Scales of justice

Scales of justice

A thief was spared from prison after a court heard how he co-operated with police and has been trying to turn his life around.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, October 31, how Andrew Ferguson, 36, of Shawcroft Avenue, Riddings, Alfreton, struck at Superdrug on October 8 and after he was caught he admitted he had also stolen goods from a Wilkinson’s store on October 4.

Prosecuting solicitor Ian Shaw said: “Ferguson was seen picking up perfume sets at Superdrug in Ripley by a member of staff who followed him and saw him throw the items away and they were recovered.

“He made off on a motorbike and people observed the number plate and it was traced to Ferguson and he was arrested.

“To his credit he accepted what he had done and told police about another matter four days earlier in Wilko’s, at Alfreton, when he had similarly stolen perfume.”

Ferguson told police had needed the goods to try and get money for a drug debt.

Ferguson pleaded guilty to the two thefts and also admitted breaching an on-going suspended custodial sentence originally imposed for an assault.

Defence solicitor Kevin Gillott said Ferguson had done well to get off drugs but after he was given a suspended custodial sentence for an assault he has not been able to see his child for two years and he relapsed.

Mr Gillott added that Ferguson has also found part-time employment as a labourer.

Magistrates told Ferguson that they could have locked him up but they felt that would have been unjust in the circumstances.

They sentenced Ferguson to a nine month community order with a six month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Ferguson was also ordered to pay £230 in fines, compensation, costs and a victim surcharge.