Worksop man stole to buy food after benefits sanction

A Worksop man stole baby grows from Asda to buy food after his benefits were sanctioned, a court heard.

Michael Scott couldn’t remember taking £45 of the items from the Memorial Avenue store, on May 14, but accepted he had when shown CCTV footage.

Scott, 40, of Shrewsbury Road, admitted theft when he appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Monday.

The court heard he had 27 previous convictions for similar offences, and had last been in trouble in June 2016, for shoplifting.

David Verity, mitigating, said Scott had “struggled with quite a serious drug problem”, but was now on methadone and seeing a drug worker “on a fairly regular basis” in Worksop.

“He says it wasn’t drug related, his benefits have been suspended. He sold the items for £20 and spent the money on food,” said Mr Verity.

The bench said they were concerned about the pattern of his offending and his previous convictions, and requested a probation report.

Probation officer Sarah Alderton said: “He has an established pattern of shop thefts, linked to drug use.

“He was adamant that this incident was not drug related and said he has been drug free for 12 months.”

“We are pleased that you’re doing well and that you have remained drug free,” said chair Jane McGregor.

“It’s unfortunate that you had this blip and it could have taken you in to the custody bracket.”

Scott was fined £50 and ordered to pay £45 compensation. He was given a 12 month community order, with ten days of rehabilitation.