Drunk player’s shame

AN amateur footballer who was told by his coach he could not play because he was drunk decided to go on a thieving spree instead.

Wigan Magistrates’ Court heard that Alan Tither, 29, broke into changing rooms at St John Rigby College and stole items worth nearly £1,000.

Tither, of Hillcrest, Platt Bridge, stole a sports bag containing a mobile phone, an MP3 player, a chain and £80 cash, together worth £990 on December 12 last year.

Hours later he felt so guilty he handed himself in to police.

Tither had been told by his football coach that he would not be playing football that day as he was intoxicated and while the two football teams played on the outside pitches, Tither and his friend saw a chance to force entry into the changing rooms.

Prosecuting, Mike Ardern said: “The caretaker had opened up the changing rooms on the Sunday morning for the players, and at that time there was no damage to the lock.

“At about 3.10pm that day, after he had locked up the changing rooms, he heard voices and saw two men nearby.

“He then saw that the door had been forced open and then he saw the men run from the area.

“At 9pm the same day, Mr Tither handed himself into the police, he had taken with him a confession he had written on some paper.

“He kept the cash, got rid of the cash cards which he also stole, sold the chain and gave the phone to a taxi driver. He handed himself into the police because he felt guilty for what happened.”

Defending, Melissa Fagan said: “Credit should be given to Mr Tither for going to the police himself. There was no evidence at the time linking him to the crime but he still went to the police to admit it. He had consumed alcohol the night before the game and had carried on drinking the next morning.

“He was with somebody who suggested they carry out this offence and he accepts that his normal common sense went through the window at this time. The defendant also accepts he has a problem with drink and has done since he was 13.”

Tither, who will now be put on an alcohol treatment course, was given a 12-month community order, a 12 month supervision order and 70 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £520 compensation to his victim.