Court hears tragedy led to man’s shoplifting spree

HMV store, Eastbourne Arndale Centre April 8th 2013 E15047P

HMV store, Eastbourne Arndale Centre April 8th 2013 E15047P

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Seeing his best friend die in front of him and the death of his mother led to a former drug user going on a shoplifting spree in Eastbourne town centre, a court has heard.

Robin Nicholas, of Winchcombe Road, targeted HMV in the Arndale Centre several times in the space of a fortnight taking CDs, DVDs, and other goods totalling more than £1,200 after slipping back into old habits.

The court heard how Nicholas had previously been taking heroin but had relapsed after being clean for five years, following the death of his mum and a friend, the latter which has seen three people charged with murder.

The 40-year-old appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to eight counts of theft.

Magistrates heard six offences were at HMV, with the other two shoplifting offences taking place at Co-op in Seaside where Nicholas stole razor blades worth £55.14 and Tesco in Seaside Road where he took meat costing £30.

Magdalena Biglou, defending, asked magistrates to consider giving her client a lengthy conditional discharge, adding that his mother had died last year, followed by the death of a friend who had died in front of him and then he had gone on to suffer from blood clots.

She said, “He started using heroin again.

“Mr Nicholas is now involved with Lift House in Eastbourne and getting the help he needs and getting back on the right track.

“I would hope the court would see this is a glitch. It’s my view that he’s doing all the right things now. He’s got all the support he needs and has a loving family.”

Magistrates asked for a full report from probation and adjourned the case until Monday October 21. Nicholas received unconditional bail.