Spalding thief fell back into bad old ways after benefits stopped

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A Spalding man who had been out of trouble for three years, ‘reverted to his old ways’ and stole from two local stores when he had a problem with his benefit payments.

Shaun Parker (34), of Park Road, admitted two charges of theft when he appeared before Boston Magistrates Court last Wednesday.

Prosecuting. Jim Clare said Parker was seen by a member of the public stealing £81 worth of meat from Aldi in St Thomas’ Road at 5.30pm on February 17 and three days later, on February 20, he returned to the store, when he was arrested.

Although released on bail, Parker went to Superdrug in Hall Place on February 28, where he stole cosmetics, but was challenged by staff and was arrested again.

He was said to have 38 previous convictions.

Mitigating, Daven Naghen said Parker’s last conviction was in January 2015, so he had been out of trouble for three years.

He said Parker had a methadone prescription but there had been a problem with his benefits and he had been left for three weeks without any payment, so he had “reverted to his old ways to cope with his payments”.

Mr Naghen said his benefits had now regularised.

The Probation Service said Parker, who is on post prison release supervision, took drugs on top of his prescription and was also in danger of losing his accommodation, and so they were asking the court to impose a curfew to force Parker to stay in his accommodation at the hostel where he was housed.

However, the bench disagreed and imposed a stand alone compensation order of £81 for stealing the meat and an 18 month conditional discharge for stealing the cosmetics. He was also ordered to pay £40 towards the costs of bringing the case to court.