Thief stole wallpaper after partner demanded he redecorate home

Peel Retail Park, Washgington

Peel Retail Park, Washgington

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A thief stole more than £150 of wallpaper from a home improvement store – after his partner suggested they redecorate their home.

Roy Page, 52, walked into Homebase in Washington on October 29 and helped himself to 12 rolls of wallpaper worth £155.88, Sunderland magistrates heard.

The long-distance lorry driver claimed he intended to pay for the decorating materials, but when he found no staff on the check-outs of the store in Peel Retail Park, he saw a chance to save some cash, the court heard.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson said: “He has filled a trolley with wallpaper – £155 for 12 rolls – and exited the store. He is detained as he is loading his lorry from the trolley with the wallpaper and is challenged by the store manager.

“He said he was looking for his wallet and is told ‘sorry you are going to have to pay for those’. He went back into the shop, then left the shop without paying

“He said wasn’t happy with the quality of the wallpaper for the price he was supposedly paying for it. Of course, he didn’t pay anything.”

Police became involved and Page later pleaded guilty to theft.

Jason Smith, defending, said: “He fully admits this offence. He went into the shop and saw the wallpaper. His partner had been going on about him re-wallpapering one of the rooms.

“When he went to the checkout there was nobody there and he thought to himself on the spur of the moment, that he could save some money and he continued to push his trolley out of the store.

“He left his details at the store. Police came round and put a card through his door and he attended the police station voluntarily.

“It was stupid. He hadn’t been in trouble since 2012. He apologises profusely to this court.”

Page, of Dean Terrace, South Shields, was fined £165 and was told to pay £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge.

“I apologise for wasting the court’s time,” he told the bench. “It never was my intention to pinch anything.

“There were two rolls at half price so I thought they were all half price. I was going to pay for them but the girl said no and put them back on the shelf.”