Homeless alcoholic stole sleeping bag from Sunderland Wilkinson store

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A HOMELESS man stole a sleeping bag from a city centre store, a court heard.

Darren Hodgson pleaded guilty at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court to theft.

John McGlone, prosecuting, told the court that Hodgson went into Wilkinson, in 
Sunderland, with two other men.

He took the sleeping bag and left the store without paying for it.

After his arrest, the 45-year-old told police he had £40 
with him and thought that his friend had paid for the sleeping bag. But he changed his story after being shown CCTV footage.

The court heard Hodgson had 52 previous convictions for 94 offences, 34 of which were for theft or similar crimes.

He was made subject a 12-month conditional discharge in November for being drunk and disorderly.

Hodgson, who now lives at the Salvation Army in High Street East, said the theft had been a spur of the moment offence.

He added: “I’m an alcoholic and I was homeless.”