Shoplifter is spared prison

sp56888 Chesterfield magistrates' court
sp56888 Chesterfield magistrates' court

A shoplifter who stole a controller for computer games has narrowly been spared a custodial sentence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, July 28, how Robert Rawson, 19, of Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, was spotted by security staff stealing the Playstation Pad from Maplins electronics store.

Prosecuting solicitor Ian Shaw said: “A female member of staff first came to the attention of staff who were suspicious of her activities.

“A member of staff monitoring her saw two males come into the store and they spoke briefly with the female and Mr Rawson could be seen picking up a Playstation Pad and slipping it in his jacket. He made no effort to pay and walked past a paypoint next to the exit. The other man was detained and he had nothing with him and Rawson was identified.”

Rawson told police he had decided to steal the item because he wanted one for himself but the contradiction, according to Mr Shaw, was that he sold it on for £25 because his benefits had been stopped.

Rawson pleaded guilty to stealing the Playstation Pad after the theft in June.

Defence solicitor Julie Page said: “He was co-operative with police and entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity.”

She added that Rawson’s previous convictions might justify a custodial sentence but she argued that custody might undo the good work he has done to turn his life round. Miss Page also explained that Rawson has struggled with drug abuse involving legal highs.

Magistrates admitted that they had strongly considered a possible custodial sentence but imposed a community order with 12 months supervision, a thinking skills programme and employment training. Rawson was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £59.99 compensation.