A SERIAL thief is facing a stint behind bars after he repeatedly filled up his car without paying.
Sunderland magistrates were told how Daniel Calkin initially happened upon his offending by accident after filling his Ford Ka with petrol at a Morrison’s garage in the Welsh town of Saltney last year.
When the 23-year-old’s debit card was declined, garage staff took his details and gave him seven days to pay. But when he failed to return, nothing happened.
“Because he got away with it, whenever he was strapped for cash, he would return to Morrison’s, knowing that he wouldn’t have to pay,” prosecutor Paul Doney said.
However Calkin, of Station View, Hetton, was finally caught in August this year and admitted two counts of theft.
Mr Doney said Calkin, a father-of-one, had gone to Morrison’s in Doxford Park on August 6, filling his Ford Ka with £42 worth of petrol.
When he told staff his card had been declined and he had no other means of paying, he left his details. After he was gone, his car registration was checked against a computer database.
“The vehicle had outstanding payments at a number of Morrison’s garages,” Mr Doney said.
On August 15, Calkin repeated the offence at Seaburn Morrison’s, putting £47 worth of petrol into the car. Again, the garage took his name and address and he told staff he would return within 24 hours.
“Once he had left, the witness input his registration, which showed payment had been declined on nine other occasions and that payment had then not been made.”
Mr Doney said Calkin also asked for six further petrol thefts totalling £239, from a Morrison’s garage in Wrexham, north Wales to be taken into consideration.
James Palmer, mitigating, said: “His last offence was in December 2012. He has almost gone, bar these offences, a full year without any offending.
“He knows he’s been a fool. Before he was charged, he wrote to Morrison’s apologising for his behaviour.
“He has a lot to lose now. At the end of August, his baby was born, which has changed his outlook on life.”
Calkin will be sentenced on November 27. The bench said all options, including custody, would be open to the court.