Theft spree ends in court

BHS store in The Arndale Centre Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08195P
BHS store in The Arndale Centre Eastbourne. February 21st 2013 E08195P

A father-to-be who was stopped by security wearing the jeans he had stolen from a store in Eastbourne has narrowly escaped jail.

Daniel Pearson and his pregnant girlfriend Amy Boyd stole from several stores in the Arndale Centre and were caught out by a member of the public who saw them unwrapping DVDS. On Tuesday this week the pair appeared at Eastbourne Magistrates Court.

Boyd, 19, was charged with two counts of theft and Pearson, 21, was charged with three counts of theft. The court heard the duo had taken DVDs from BHS and when they left the Arndale they were seen unwrapping the goods and hiding them in a bag. The bag was hidden in bushes and the defendants then went to WHSmith and stole DVDs. Pearson also went into Blue Inc and took a pair of jeans from the store.

Boyd, of North Road, Brighton, admitted the two thefts, while Pearson, of Wivelsfield Green, also pleaded guilty to three counts of theft and admitted breaching a suspended prison sentence.

Madeleine Priestley, defending, said, “She’s newly pregnant and that’s something she really wants to focus on. Mr Pearson’s mother sits at the back of court and is offering to step in and pay a deposit for them for them to find a flat.

“Mr Pearson was evicted from where they (Boyd and Pearson) were living and was effectively homeless. He was homeless, had no money and as a result both of them came over to Eastbourne to take some goods from the shops. There was no sophistication about the offending and they were desperate in a way to get some money. “The factors behind his offending behaviour are primarily to do with homelessness and his cannabis use.”

She said her client also has Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder but had been unable to get his medication when homeless, adding, “Maybe if he had medication that may not have been what he decided to do.

“Give him one more chance he will then be on a cliff edge, he knows he has to abide exactly to every request.”

Pearson was told the operational period of his existing suspended sentence would be extended by six months. He was also given a 20 week suspended prison sentence for 18 months. He was told he must comply with supervision for 18 months, take part in an activity requirement, pay £50 costs and an £80 victim surcharge. When sentencing him chairman of the bench Mr Ayers issued a stark warning, saying, “When you leave here today go away under no illusion if you commit any other offences you will go to prison.”

Boyd was given a three month community order with supervision for the same period. She must also pay £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.