Pensioner stole tools at Louth store

Magistrates' Court
Magistrates' Court

A Louth area pensioner almost goes into ‘a state of automation’ and ‘goes out and steals’ when he is under stress, a court 
has been told.

Christopher Robin Beal, 68, of Town Street, South Somercotes, admitted two charges of stealing tools from Moncaster’s store in Louth, when he appeared at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said that on March 24, Beal went into the store in the early afternoon and placed various hand tools worth £191 in his pockets and left.

It was only later that staff noticed that some of the display tools were missing, CCTV footage was examined and Beal was seen taking the tools.

The next day, he went back to the store and again took tools, this time worth £50, but he was recognised and staff took his vehicle registration number and told the police.

Mitigating, Asad Aziz said that Beal had no intention to steal when he went into the store but had formed the intention while he was inside.

“He almost goes into a state of automatism,” he told 
the court. “It’s inexplicable why he committed these offences. He has the money to pay but for some strange reasons, he steals items.”

Mr Aziz said that one diagnosis had been that he was self-harming and that whenever he felt stressed he went out and stole.

He said Beal had been 53 when he first stole and it had always been on occasions when he had been stressed, the most recent occasions being when his wife had left him after 38 years of marriage and then when he had heard that she was engaged to be married to another man.

The magistrates imposed a 24 months conditional discharge, £85 in costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.