Serial thief goes back to old ways

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A serial thief who committed a number of thefts in Blackpool has come to live in the resort, a court was told.

Michael Bates was once given £20 out of his own pocket by a district judge sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court for the train fare home, after he heard Bates had been stranded in the resort and was trying to get home to Bolton.

Bates, 21, formerly of The Sheddings, Bolton, now living at Castlerigg Place, Mereside, admitted theft.

The court was told that previously two district judges had given Bates absolute discharges for offences of theft from shops in Blackpool.

Presiding magistrate, Jean Adam, told Bates: “You have an horrendous record for shoplifting and we are not going to be as kind as the district judges.”

Bates was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs plus £15 victims’ surcharge.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said Bates was seen behaving strangely at the resort’s Home Bargains, marching up and down the aisles.

The incident happened on November 27, the court was told.

He was then seen putting three DVDs down the front of his trousers.

He left without paying and was caught.

Steven Townley, defending, said last year Bates found himself stranded in Blackpool with no money to get back to his home town.

He had committed a number of shoplifting offences in a short time to try and raise his return train fare, he told the court.

Bates has now found a job.