Mablethorpe man admits stealing alcohol

Benefits fraud
Benefits fraud

A man, who last week denied a theft charge and was remanded in custody, changed his plea to a reduced charge when he appeared via video link from prison.

Darren Charles Fitzpatrick, 46, of Chalfont Avenue, Mablethorpe, admitted theft of alcohol of an unknown value from the Co-op in Seacroft Road, Mablethorpe, when he appeared before District Judge John Stobart sitting at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said police went to the Co-op in the early hours of August 4 after a report that people had been seen climbing over a fence into a secure yard at the rear of the store.

They found Fitzpatrick standing by the gate with bags containing numerous bottles of alcohol which he told police he had obtained from a bin in the yard.

He told them that other people had told him that he could get into the yard to get the alcohol.

Mr Clare told the judge that Fitzpatrick had 149 criminal convictions, predominantly of dishonesty, and was in breach of suspended prison sentences totalling six months and also a community order that had only been imposed a few weeks before his arrest.

In mitigation, Gary Farmer said Fitzpatrick had taken the bottles of beer from a skip under the impression that as they had been left there it wasn’t stealing.

He also told the judge that Fitzpatrick was subject to a drug referral order and was engaging with addiction organisations.

The judge told Fitzpatrick that he knew full well that if he went out stealing he would be in breach of these orders.

He told him he was going to defer sentencing him for three months to see what progress he made on his drug referral order and to see if he could keep his hands off other people’s property.