Wigan man stole jacket on journey home from prison
Shaun Atkins, of Lancaster Road in Marsh Green, admitted to theft after being caught walking out of Wigan North Western wearing a red Virgin Trains jacket.
The 34-year-old was on his way back from Forest Bank prison, where he had served a four-month sentence for another charge, when he decided to take the employee’s coat.
Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon told Wigan magistrates: “He was at Wigan North Western station. He saw one of the staff jackets in the customer service office placed on the back of a chair.
“He leant over the desk and took the jacket which had a set of keys in it and a photograph belonging to a member of staff.
“Staff saw and detained him and returned the jacket and he was arrested by the British Transport Police.
“He said he couldn’t remember anything because he had taken prescription drugs. He had no intention of returning it.”
Due to his recent jail sentence, Atkins was still on licence when he committed the offence.
Defending, Mark Ferguson said: “It is a slightly unusual case really, he is released from his prison sentence on the day of this offence, returns from Forest Bank on the train, he accepts he receives some prescription drugs which seem to have clouded his judgment.
“He goes to the counter and takes a bright red jacket and stands out like a sore thumb.
“There was nothing to suggest he goes to see what is in the jacket.
“It seems to be a bizarre thing to have done, I’m at a loss as to why he’s selected this item.”
After being arrested and charged, Atkins was released on police bail but failed to turn up for his hearing on July 24.
At this hearing, Mr Ferguson said that his client was being recalled to prison anyway.
Magistrates sentenced him to eight weeks in prison, which included failing to attend the court hearing in July.
Atkins was sent from the room shouting and swearing and did not hear the rest of his sentence which included being ordered to £85 in court costs and a £120 victim surcharge.