THE actions of an audacious thief who stole a fish tank from a Wigan pet store were branded as “laughable” by a magistrate.
Lee Nevitt, who strolled out of Pets At Home with the £150 fish tank in his arms, told the court his behaviour was out of character.
The 35-year-old, who added that he was on drugs at the time of the incident on January 10 of this year, received an 18 month conditional discharge.
Carl Gaffney, prosecuting, said: “I can be fairly terse with this issue. The defendant undertook a brave, bold and audacious attempt to steal this fish tank, simply walking out of the shop making no attempt to pay.
“There was no sophistication , no guile.
“He was identified after being caught on the store’s CCTV and was later arrested. Under police interview, he made a full admission.”
Nevitt of Selwyn Street, Leigh, who represented himself in court, was asked by the bench if he kept fish and replied that he did.
He added: “It was a stupid situation and a really bad idea. It was out of character.”
When asked whether he was drunk or under the influence of anything during the offence, Nevitt replied: “Yes, I was on drugs.”
While sentencing Nevitt, who pleaded guilty to the theft charge, the presiding magistrate said: “Let’s cut straight to the chase here Mr Nevitt. You are no stranger to the court system are you?
“You acted out this malarkey, these ill-conceived plans under the influence of drugs but you knew where it would end up.
“So in an effort to help you, we will give you an 18 month conditional discharge because before this incident you have stayed out of trouble for quite some time.
“It is almost laughable this incident, walking out with a fish tank under your arm.
“Stay out of trouble otherwise another bench in here will not be as generous as we are being today. So put your thinking cap on”
Nevitt was ordered to pay £120 for the tank, plus a victim surcharge of £15 and £35 costs.