Man jailed for £2,300 Sunderland kit snatch

Sunderland AFC away kit for season 2011-2012
Sunderland AFC away kit for season 2011-2012
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A SHAMELESS thief walked into the Sunderland AFC store and stole thousands of pounds worth of football kit.

Shoplifter Wayne John Robbins was captured on CCTV - along with two other men - snatching blue away shirts and shorts.

The 35-year-old was arrested four months later but the haul, valued at more than £2,300, was never recovered.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard Robbins, of Bexhill Road, Town End Farm, claimed he had been so drunk he could not remember the incident on July 28, last year.

Prosecutor Keith Laidlaw said Robbins believed he had sold on nine or 10 of the shirts for £20 each.

He added: “Several other people informed him that of what he had done, but he could not remember what he had done.

“He saw the CCTV from the store, which shows him clearly entering the club store with two other men, and running out of the store with his hands full of blue Sunderland tops.

“Another camera shows him and the two other males removing tops from the shelves, before running off with them.”

Mitigating, Duncan Emmerson said Robbins had been “entrenched” in alcohol at the time of the theft.

The city solicitor added: “When was he interviewed four or five months down the line, he could not remember a great deal, because he was a very heavy drinker.

“He appeared before your colleagues on four separate occasions around that time, for offences of being drunk and disorderly, and you will notice these matters are flanked by shop thefts.

“It might come as no surprise to you that these offences were similar snatch offences of alcohol from local off-licences.

“The majority of the offences were motivated by the gain of alcohol or the gain of funds for alcohol.

“The defendant was effectively roped in by two other persons who really used him as an extra pair of hands.

“They ran in, grabbed a whole load of stock and ran out again.

“Whether the defendant obtained any benefit is a matter of judgement.”

Me Emmerson said the two other men were identified at the same time as his client and had since been prosecuted.

Robbins was sentenced to eight weeks in prison but was likely to be released immediately, as he had already spent 15 weeks behind bars.

No further penalty was given for a separate public order offence committed on November 10, and no further action was taken for breaching a conditional discharge imposed for shoplifting on November 3.

Magistrates said they would not make Robbins pay any compensation to the Black Cats, but the club could look at taking civil action against him.

SAFC declined to comment.

Twitter: @janethejourno