Knife ‘came in handy’ for Mablethorpe store thief

A MABLETHORPE man who was living on friends’ sofas or sleeping rough admitted theft and possessing an offensive weapon when he appeared at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

Zac Anthony McGuiness, 27, now of Croft Road, was said to have gone into the Factory Shop in High Street in the resort at about 1pm on April 26 and taken four items of clothing, worth £96, from a display and then run out of the shop without paying.

Staff chased him, as did various members of the public, until he was stopped by a postman.

When searched he was found to have a lock knife, an illegal weapon, in his pocket.

When interviewed by the police, he said was selling the items to get money and that he carried the knife because he was homeless and ‘it came in handy’.

The court was told McGuiness was already serving a community order imposed in August 2011 for a public order offence and assaulting a police officer.

Defending, Terry Vamplew said McGuiness had problems with alcohol.

He said he had no settled address and if friends couldn’t put him up he slept rough.

He said the knife was in his pocket but was not used in any way.

The magistrates told McGuiness he had to take measures to address his offending lifestyle and sentenced him to a 12 month community order with supervision.