Judge sends jail warning to shoplifters

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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A judge has warned that those who steal to order on the Fylde coast will face tough sentences.

Joseph Collinson, 47, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to theft of two handbags valued together at £259, from the Blackpool branch of TK Maxx.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay £80 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Jeff Brailsford, at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The judge said: “The message must go out that people who steal to order should expect to be sentenced at the upper end of the range.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said a security officer at TK Maxx, Bank Hey Street, saw Collinson pick up two handbags and walk out of the store without paying for them.

The incident happened on November 12, at around 5.40pm.

Allan Cobain, defending, said Collinson had nowhere to live after his relationship with a woman ended, and he was also having difficulties with his benefits payments.

Collinson was complaining to a man about having no money.

The man then asked him to steal some handbags, and said he would pay Collinson for them.