Shoplifter’s appalling crime record

A SERIAL thief from Buxton told police he stole wine from a supermarket because he was strapped for cash.

Stephen Stewart placed a bottle of wine inside a carrier bag and left a Tesco store in Chesterfield without paying for it.

Staff member Mark Payne witnessed the theft and detained him until police arrived.

“He said he had been drinking all day and was drunk and he went there to steal wine because he had no money,” David Horne, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates.

Stewart, 61, of Macclesfield Road, Buxton, admitted the June 3 theft. He had 39 previous convictions for similar offences.

Magistrates fined him £48, with £85 costs, after saying he had an appalling criminal record.

Trevor Feelihy, for Stewart, said he suffered from severe eczema and his hands were hurting.

This, together with excessive drinking that afternoon, led to him attempting to steal wine.

Mr Feelihy said Stewart, who received £136-a-week in pension credits, had “kept out of trouble for some time” before the offence.