Failed thief ‘had hand broken by angry travellers’

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A FAILED attempt to steal from a supermarket resulted in a man having his hand broken with a baseball bat and him being sent out to steal again.

Alfred Cato (19), of Salem Street, Gosberton, claimed he was forced to steal because of a “long-standing debt” with travellers as he appeared before Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard he been chased and apprehended by two members of the public after walking out of Sainsbury’s in Spalding with Remington hair clippers and Babyliss hair straighteners on February 29. He was arrested and bailed the same day.

However, Cato then grabbed three jackets from Oldrids in Boston the following day and run out of the door. He later handed himself in after dropping the jackets while making his escape.

He pleaded guilty to both theft charges and to a third charge of failing to surrender to bail on March 22.

Prosecutor Edward Johnson said Cato had told police during interview he had been threatened by travellers “due to a long-standing debt”.

Mr Johnson said Cato explained he had his hand broken with a baseball bat after the first incident but that he had refused to give details about the person who had done it.

Rachel Stevens, defending, said Cato appeared to have “fallen foul” of some people who had asked him to carry out the thefts.

She said: “It was not successful and he had a price to pay. The next day he was told to go and complete it and he has been caught.

“To his credit he has run away but he has gone back.”

Cato was given an 18-month supervision order by the court.