Sunderland shoplifter’s £358 food theft from Marks and Spencer

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A SHOPLIFTER with convictions going back to the 1980s stole hundreds of pounds worth of food from Marks & Spencer.

Joseph Barnes told police he stole the food because he was hungry and needed to eat.

Police found the food, worth £358, in the 43-year-old’s home in Garland Street, Sunderland.

Stuart Graham, prosecuting, said: “He stole the food simply by walking into M&S, putting all the goods into a Sports Direct bag and leaving the store without paying.”

Jamie Adams, defending, advised the judge that Barnes had already served three weeks in custody while he was waiting to be sentenced.

He pleaded guilty to theft at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Deborah Sherwin said: “This offence was committed about a week after you were made the subject of a suspended-sentence order.

“You have spent the last three or four weeks in custody, so in relation to the theft I sentence you to six weeks, meaning you will be released immediately.

“In relation to the suspended sentence, I am taking no action, so what that means is that it is still hanging over your head.”