A bereaved thief struck at a Boots store in Chesterfield town centre three times after he claimed his benefits had been reduced and because he wanted a tribute to honour his deceased niece.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on January 15 how Wayne Stewart Kirk, 39, of Derby Road, Birdholme, Chesterfield, stole Soap and Glory gift sets from the Boots store, at Low Pavement, during three shoplifting raids during December.
Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “On December 22, Boots chemist security saw the defendant taking a £10 gift set and they detained him and CCTV was handed over and it transpired he had also been in the store on December 10 and 11 taking gift sets.”
Kirk admitted the three thefts to police and explained that he had stolen two of the items to sell on so he could pay for electricity and tobacco.
He added that the third theft had been committed so he could place the gift set at a roadside memorial to his deceased niece who had died in a road traffic collision.
Kirk, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the three thefts.
Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said Kirk’s benefits had been reduced from £375 a fortnight to £202 a fortnight and without his previous Disability Living Allowance he has been unable manage his finances and he could not pay for his electricity.
Miss Sargent added that Kirk’s niece had died in a road traffic collision in the Doe Lea area and he stole a gift set to place at a roadside memorial in her honour.
She said: “He said it is not what he usually does and he very much regrets it and offers an apology to the store because he knows his behaviour was wrong.”
District Judge Andrew Davison fined Kirk £240 and ordered him to pay £60 compensation and a £30 victim surcharge.