Shoplifting spree lands duo in court

Two men who stole alcohol from a town centre store have been fined.

James Haynes and Peter Lonergan both admitted stealing vodka and bourbon from Sainsbury’s in the Arndale Centre on December 27 when they appeared before Eastbourne magistrates on Tuesday.

Mark Cateley, prosecuting, said the duo and another unidentified man were seen by staff putting bottles in their jackets and walking out without paying for them.

He said that when they were challenged by security staff they ran off, but were arrested later.

Magistrates heard 31-year-old Haynes, of Colwood Crescent, and 28-year-old Peter Lonergan, of Hurst Lane, both have a string of convictions.

Yolanda Pons, defending both men, told magistrates Haynes was an alcoholic who was drunk at the time of the shoplifting spree.

“He is looking for help with his alcohol dependency,” said Miss Pons.

Magistrates heard Lonergan was not dependent on alcohol but was on a methadone programme to help kick a drug habit and was on licence after being released from prison.

Miss Pons said, “My client has a number of mental health issues but is responding well to help. The probation service says he is doing very well.

“This was an unplanned event and very much a spur of the moment act which he regrets.”

The court heard all the alcohol was recovered when the two men were caught.

Magistrates fined Haynes £50 for the shoplifting offence and £50 for the costs of bringing the case to work along with a £20 victim surcharge.

Lonergan was also fined £50 and ordered to pay £50 court costs with a £20 victim surcharge.

He was also told by magistrates to make full use of the services to turn his life around.