Man stole wine after threats from robber

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A man claimed he was forced to steal wine from an off licence by a knife-wielding raider who was already robbing the store.

A court heard that Thomas Cadden was threatened by another young man who pulled out a knife inside the shop in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, and robbed the premises.

The robber was given a three year jail term at an earlier hearing.

Cadden, 22, of Victory Road, Blackpool was given a suspended sentence order by a judge at Preston Crown court. He had pleaded guilty to the theft in May.

Michael Murray, prosecuting, said the defendant and the other man entered the shop that afternoon.

The other man pulled out a knife and threatened a shopworker before stealing some wine and leaving.

Cadden followed him, taking two bottles of wine himself. He was arrested the next day and said he had only met the other man on the day of the robbery.

They had gone to the off licence together, but when the knife was produced inside, it had come as a “complete shock” to him.

John Woodward, defending, said Cadden had drunk a great deal of alcohol that day and had only met the other man two hours beforehand.

The defendant had been “steaming” drunk at the time.

The other person had said he was going to buy beer from the off licence. The robbery was nothing to do with Cadden, said his barrister.

“He was threatened by the man with the knife to get a couple of bottles, so he did it instinctively” said Mr Woodward.

“It was never his intention to go into the shop and steal. He was simply doing something instructed to him by the other man.

“He was frightened and did not know what fate he would have met outside from the man with the knife”.

The court also heard Cadden had spent the last four months in custody. Cadden was given eight months prison suspended for two years, with two years supervision and 60 hours unpaid work.