Booze thief drank stolen cans of beer after police were called to arrest him

A whisky thief pleaded with Aldi staff not to call police after being caught at the checkouts with the booze hidden in his bag.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 7:00 am
Staff at the Galleries Aldi store called police

Scott Longstaff, 29, told workers at the retailer’s outlet at Washington’s Galleries Retail Park outlet, “Please don’t”, a court heard.

But they did – and Longstaff, of Skipton Green, Harlow Green, Gateshead, was arrested, but not before he had drunk four cans of lager he had also stolen.

He has now been hit with fines and court costs of over £300 for an offence which saw all but the £3.60 beer returned on Wednesday, November 11.

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Prosecutor Leanne Duffy told magistrates in South Tyneside: “The witness was working at the outlet when her attention was drawn to the defendant.

“He was seen taking bottles of whisky from the shelves and placing them in his backpack.

“He went to the checkout holding one bottle and was asked to pay for the other bottles, and was told his bag would be checked.

“She told him that they had found five bottles and four cans of beer and that the police would be called. He became abusive.

“When he became aware that the police would be called, he said, ‘Please don’t’”

The court heard the Bell's whisky, valued at £68.75, was recovered but Longstaff, who has six previous convictions, had consumed the ale.

Jason Smith, defending, said: “I’ve spoken to Scott and he deeply regrets this.

“He was drunk at the time and gave into temptation and took the alcohol. He drank the lager.

“Since November he’s got himself into employment and has not committed any other offence.

“He may feel that a conditional discharge is suitable. He understands that the courts and the police would still be watching him.

“If he was stupid enough to go back to thieving, it’s twice as bad.”

Magistrates fined Longstaff, who pleaded guilty to shop theft, £200, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.