A penniless thief who stole four DVDs to sell on for cash has been given a suspended prison sentence so he can continue receiving help to beat a drug addiction.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, July 29, how Scott Fraser, of Farm Close, Chesterfield, stole four DVDs from a Lidl store, on Foljambe Road, Chesterfield, but was followed by staff who spotted him trying to hide them under a parked car.
Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “He had been seen in the supermarket and had taken four DVDs valued at £19.96 and he left with them but was followed by staff.
“The defendant saw that he was being followed and as he passed a parked car he placed the DVDs underneath it and they were recovered and he was arrested and interviewed.”
Jobless Fraser, told police he had to steal the DVDs because he had no money for food and tobacco after he had spent his benefits.
The court heard how the former engineer has a drug habit but does take heroin substitute methadone so it was accepted he was not stealing to fund his addiction.
Mrs Allsop added: “He expressed remorse and explained that he had intended to sell on the DVDs and was sorry for what he had done.”
Fraser pleaded guilty to stealing the DVDs after the incident on July 15 and also admitted breaching a previous conditional discharge for shoplifting by committing the latest offence.
The probation service said Fraser has demonstrated a pattern of offending with previous convictions while he has been subject to community-based penalties but has abstained from taking drugs and has engaged with the probation service.
Defence solicitor David Gittins said: “His engagement with the probation service is good and there have been no breaches apart from committing further offences.”
Mr Gittins explained that Fraser had committed his latest offence because he was effectively homeless at the time and was living with friends but he hopes to get a council property soon.
He added: “If he goes to prison he wouldn’t have the support of the probation service.”
Magistrates sentenced Fraser to 14 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and he must pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Fraser’s 12 month conditional discharge for a previous conviction in June for shoplifting also remains in place.