‘Stupid’ Stoke-on-Trent shoplifter snared after targeting same shop twice in two days


Thief Gary Kirkham was caught red-handed as he tried to steal alcohol from a shop – for the second time in two days.

The 39-year-old had successfully stolen booze from Heron Foods, Abbey Hulton, on December 28.

But when he returned the next day staff watched him place bottles of WKD in a Heron Foods carrier bag before seizing the bag and calling the police.

The defendant was spotted in nearby Abbey Road and officers watched him push over a blue bin and verbally abuse a member of the public. He was heard to say, ‘I am going to kill him’.

Now Kirkham has been hit with a £289 court bill at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

The December 28 theft had been captured on CCTV – and the manager recognised Kirkham when he returned to the Leek Road store at 4.20pm on December 29.

Prosecutor Karen Wright said: “He was wearing the same clothing. The manager saw him put bottles of WKD in a Heron Foods carrier bag. He was apprehended and the bag was taken off him.

“It was witnessed by a member of public who described the defendant as intoxicated.”

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Kirkham, who gave his address as Verdon Guest House, Hanley, pleaded guilty to charges of theft, attempted theft, and using threatening, abusive, insulting words or behaviour.

Tony Cooke, mitigating, said the defendant – who has 39 previous convictions for 103 offences – had only been released from prison on Christmas Eve. He has been struggling with alcohol and has had nowhere to live since his release.

He added: “The police came. He realised where he had got himself. Out of frustration he kicked a bin and shouted at someone across the street who pointed him out. He had been stupid going to the same shop twice and stealing alcohol.”

Magistrates fined Kirkham £120 and ordered him to pay £135 compensation and a £34 surchage.





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