Gambling addict’s rose raid on Sunderland Booze Busters

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A GAMBLING addict stole wine and lager from a newsagents.

Paul Laidlaw helped himself to four cans of lager and two bottles of rose wine from Booze Busters in Southwick, Sunderland.

Police were called after the theft at The Green, on October 31, and the 26-year-old was arrested nearby.

Laidlaw, who is of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to theft at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He also admitted failing to report to police on November 8 and breaching the peace on December 28.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “Police carried out a search of the area and stopped the defendant, who matched the description of the offender.

“He immediately put his hands up and says, ‘Aye, it was me.’

“He said he drank some of the stolen wine and refused to say where he put the rest.

“He was bailed back to the police station, but did not turn up on November 8.”

Mr Anderson added that the breach of the peace took place when Laidlaw rowed with his parents, after they refused to give him a bank card.

He said: “His mother says that since he was 17, and he is now 26, he has been suffering from a condition which has been diagnosed as drug-induced psychosis.

“He has been seen by a number of health-care professionals, but it not currently under treatment, because he failed to comply with them.

“He has a drug habit, alcohol difficulties and an addiction to gambling.

“There has been a problem with him taking property and selling it.”

Laidlaw threatened to smash his parents’ windows and trash his father’s car before he was arrested.

Willie Johnstone, defending, said he was welcome back at the family home.

District Judge Roger Elsey adjourned the case for the probation service to prepare pre-sentence reports about Laidlaw.