Charity shop thief gets three-month sentence

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A WIGAN man has been imprisoned for stealing from two charity shops.

Brett Matthews of Laithwaite Road, Wigan, stole 20 DVDs to the value of £40 from Wigan and Leigh Hospice Shop on October 22, last year.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard that after trying to bargain with a shop assistant, Matthews, 36, proceeded to put the items in a carrier bag without paying and walk out of the store.

As shop worker Lancelot Allan attempted to stop Matthews from leaving the store, he was pushed to the floor by him.

An hour later at about 10.50am, Matthews entered the Shop Mobility store on Market Street and stole 12 DVDs worth £12.

Prosecutor Hanifa Patel said: “CCTV footage at the Shop Mobility store shows the defendant taking six DVDs which he had already stolen out of the carrier bag and place them on the floor.

“He then took DVDs from the shop shelf, put them in the bag and then put the DVDs he had already stolen from the other shop, on top of them.”

Defending, Andrew Stock said: “The defendant does take medication for anxiety but at the time of this offence, was trying to self-medicate.

“So this type of behaviour was unusual for him and it was never his intention to hurt anybody.”

Matthews received two concurrent eight week custodial sentences for each theft and four weeks imprisonment in relation to the assault charge which will run consecutively.

Matthews also concurrently received seven days for the non-payment of outstanding fines.

District Judge Mark Hadfield said: “This was quite despicable conduct really.”