WOULD you pay £1,200 for two bottles of booze?
Well you have, thanks to Dexter Ferguson, who stole two £14.50 bottles of Aftershock from Asda, in Sunderland.
Taxpayers have had to fork out for an expensive Crown Court case from the cash-strapped public purse, after the serial offender chose to go before the higher court rather than city magistrates.
But when he got there, Ferguson, of Guilford Street, Hendon, pleaded guilty to theft.
And that was not surprising as the 35-year-old – the first Wearsider ever to get an Asbo – had been collared when he walked out of the supermarket with a stolen bottle under each arm, last October.
“The property was recovered, but the cost of coming here today is £1,200,” prosecutor Stuart Michie told Newcastle Crown Court.
Judge Brian Forster said: “These are obviously the most expensive bottles of Aftershock, it is about £600 per bottle.”
As well as the prosecution costs, Ferguson’s defence team would have clocked up a hefty bill, which was not detailed in court.
Mitigating, Bob Spragg said the defendant (pictured), who has more than 100 previous convictions, had been in an “alcohol stupor” when he stole the drink and opted to appear at the Crown Court.
He said Ferguson has now stopped drinking and been out of trouble for the last five months.
Judge Forster sentenced Ferguson to a conditional discharge for three months.
The judge ordered him to pay £150 towards the court costs, at a rate of £10 per month.
Ferguson will meet the contribution towards costs out of his £90 per week disability living allowance he receives, because of an eye problem.
In 1999, he became the fourth person in the country to be slapped with an Asbo,
He was given the order after being repeatedly caught interfering with cars in Sunderland city centre.