Burglar ‘found shop keys in bin’

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A man who claimed he found a shop’s keys in a bin has pleaded guilty to its burglary.

Cornelius Shaw, 52, found his way into Poundland on Bradshawgate, Leigh, in the early hours of March 3.

But Wigan magistrates heard that he and co-accused Kevin Derbyshire, 32, fled empty-handed when the alarm went off.

Nicola Ormerod said the store manager got a 2am call about the alarm but when she went to look with another manager they couldn’t see anything missing.

“They checked the CCTV which showed two men, one on a bike, approaching the front of the store. One of them appears to enter the store, he doesn’t use force but appears to use a key.”

Police traced the pair back to the Railway Road Project on Findlay Street where they were arrested.

Ms Ormerod added: “Mr Shaw admitted in interview that he had been looking through the bins at the back of the store on March 2 to see if he could salvage anything that had been thrown away when he had come across a set of keys. He had intended to hand them in but had left to go to an appointment and had forgotten about them until he went for a walk with Mr Derbyshire and they decided to try and use the keys.”

Peter Moran, defending, said: “In my mind this offence was neither planned nor showed a great deal of sophistication.

“Both men were hungry and decided to try the key to see if there were any biscuits or chocolate they could take.

“No damage was caused to the store and nothing was stolen.”

Derbyshire admitted burglary with intent to steal and a count of possessing a class B drug after cannabis was found in his sock.

Both were given 12-month community orders with a condition to complete a 25 day drug rehabilitation order.

Derbyshire was given an eight-week night curfew and Shaw was given a nine-week one for breaching a conditional discharge. Both must pay £85 costs and £60 surcharge.