Man with 48 theft convictions admits three more offences

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple - Credit: Archant

The 36-year-old said he had been struggling with rent when he pleaded guilty to three thefts totalling nearly £400.

A BARNSTAPLE man has admitted to three separate thefts amounting to more than £400 between April and June.

Christopher Saunders, of Cross Street, stole five X-Box games worth £187 from Tesco Extra on May 13.

Prosecutor Lyndsey Baker said the 36-year-old had placed the games in his laptop bag before going on to purchase some groceries.

He was stopped by an eye witness as he left the store and made to return the games, later admitting to police he was planning to sell them on a Facebook group.

Three weeks before, on April 23, Saunders stole a mobile phone from the EE shop in Green Lanes.

He had asked staff if he could use their mobile to claim a new phone on his insurance but was caught on CCTV walking out of the shop talking on the handset, worth £150.

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The court heard he had also stolen two bottles of Southern Comfort and one bottle of Martell brandy worth £55 from Marks and Spencer on June 2.

Mrs Baker said Saunders had 48 previous theft-related convictions but had not been in court for such an offence since 2005.

Saunders, who was unrepresented in court, said he had been having problems with his rent but had been doing well for many years before the incidents.

He said his marriage fell apart two years ago and it had been ‘a real struggle’ since then but he was now back on track.

Magistrates adjourned proceedings for a full pre sentence report to be compiled by the probation service.

Saunders was released on bail to appear at North Devon Magistrates’ Court on July 5, with a condition not to enter Tesco Extra in Barnstaple.

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