Thief’s old-for-new trainer swap at Sunderland TK Maxx

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A MAN walked into a shop wearing an old pair of trainers and emerged with a brand spanking new pair that he failed to pay for, a court heard

Merrick Ainslie, 29, was in TK Maxx in Sunderland on July 15, when he made the swap, damaging the shoes when the security tag was removed, Sunderland magistrates heard.

“He tries on a pair of Nike training shoes,” prosecutor Paul Anderson told the court. “He walks out wearing the shoes and leaves the other shoes behind on the shelves.

“He has walked outside to see his partner and thought ‘I’m outside, so I’ll just keep them’”

Ainslie, whose address was given as the Salvation Army hostel Swan Lodge in Sunderland, was caught outside the Crowtree Road shop, wearing the £33 trainers.

He was arrested and later pleaded guilty to theft.

Heather Bolton, mitigating, said: “He has tried the trainers on, but he does not accept he ripped the security tag off, but it did come off when he put the trainers on.

“He’s walked out of the shop to see where his partner is. He is confronted and walks back into the shop and tries to pay for the trainers, but his payment is not accepted and he is arrested.”

Ainslie was handed a six-month conditional discharge and was told to pay £33 in compensation to TK Maxx.