Thief almost jailed for stealing £1 bag of Skittles from Sunderland Primark

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A THIEF with a sweet tooth nearly earned himself a spell behind bars.

Roy Lee, from Hendon in Sunderland, was already on a suspended sentence when he stole a bag of Skittles from the city’s Primark store.

He pleaded guilty to the £1 theft at the city’s magistrates’ court.

Prosecutor Paul Anderson told the bench that they could consider sending the 37-year-old to prison.

He said: “It is what it is, your worships. He was detained leaving the store on March 19.

“It is a very stupid offence, because you will see he was made subject to a suspended sentence order on February 6, which for £1-worth of sweets, puts him at risk of going back to custody.”

Gavin Sword, defending, said Lee, of Mandela Close, had turned to crime after losing his job and ending up on the streets.

“He has not got a long criminal record, but he presented at the time the suspended sentence was imposed as someone who had lost his job, his relationship with his partner had broken down; he had lost contact with his children, he had lost his accommodation and was sleeping rough and drinking very heavily.

“I think he would be the first to tell the court that all he was concerned about was his drinking and nothing else.

“He got into committing relatively minor offences, but your colleagues imposed the suspended sentence and also decided that he should comply with a community order.”

Mr Sword added that Lee was working well with the Probation Service”.

Magistrates imposed a six-month conditional discharge.

He must also pay £50 towards court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.