Serial Sunderland criminal passes 100 offences with chocolate and Lynx deodorant thefts from city shops

A Sunderland serial criminal has clocked up a century of convictions after thefts from city shops.

By Gareth Crickmer
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 8:01 am

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Solicitor Gerry Armstrong used a cricketing analogy to describe his three decades of defending repeat offender Kevin Brown, 45.

Brown, of no fixed abode, appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to admit three shop thefts in Sunderland.

Mr Armstrong said the offences had taken Brown’s tally to 102 crimes, adding: “It’s 31 years I’ve represented Kevin.

South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

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“He’s subsequently held his bat and gone through the 100 mark. He pleads guilty to these offences today.”

But after the court heard Brown had just been released from prison on other matters, Mr Armstrong insisted his client had finally turned the corner.

He added: “With that background, he surprised me today. Firstly, I had some doubts as to whether he would attend court.

“When he was arrested for these offences, he was recalled to prison. He only got out of prison 12 days ago.

“I thought he would be back to what he was doing to try to survive, but he has begun working with the Probation Service and is getting housing.

“The Probation Service is helping him to get off drugs. An old dog can learn new tricks. I hope he can learn something.

“I think we have an opportunity today to try to turn his life around. Sending him to prison hasn’t done anything.

“Has he learned? I think he has. Has he changed? I think he has.”

Prosecutor Rob Lawson said Brown struck at retailer B&M Bargains on Tuesday, October 12.

Brown stole £204 of chocolates – and also pinched from Wilkinsons’ city centre Fawcett Street outlet on Friday, April 1, and Monday, May 9.

During the Wilkinsons thefts, Brown took 30 cans of Lynx deodorants, valued at £55 and £142.50 respectively, as well as gift sets in the first.

It is believed his crimes were caught on CCTV which led to his arrest.

Dr Alistair Robson, chair of the bench, described Brown’s criminal record as “horrendous”, and added: “Your solicitor says you have turned the corner. Time will tell.”

Brown was ordered to pay full compensation to the two stores, with £85 court costs.