Wigan shoplifter tried to flee Asda with £687 worth of shopping in a trolley

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A desperate Wigan shoplifter who tried to do a runner with a trolley full of groceries has been jailed.

Jason Fleming was caught by security at the Asda superstore leaving with £687 of goods having made no effort to pay.

Borough justices heard Fleming, of Millers Lane, Platt Bridge, had resorted to theft to try and get together enough money for a deposit on somewhere to live.

He admitted stealing and, as he was already on a suspended sentence and subject to a conditional discharge relying on him committing no further offences, has now been given three months behind bars and three months in the community under supervision.

Prosecuting, Paul Huxley said store staff were alerted to a man acting suspiciously. A guard stationed himself at the exit and saw Fleming, 45, try to leave with the trolley.

Mr Huxley said: “In interview he told the officer he had recently tried to commit suicide and was trying to get money for a deposit for a house. He said: ‘I’m sorry, I know it was wrong’. His suspended sentence was for matters of shoplifting and failure to surrender, so there may be a pattern developing here.”

Fleming also admitted failing to turn up at court to answer the most recent charge against him on July 31.

Defending, Mark Ferguson said his client had been experiencing some extremely difficult times but was remorseful for trying to solve them through crime.

Mr Ferguson said: “He came out of prison last year and found himself in substantial rent arrears. There were problems with claiming benefits and his Universal Credit wasn’t finalised until some time in June. He lost his flat, his relationship hit the rocks and he found it extremely difficult to cope without his partner.

He then became homeless because of issues with a tenant but gravitated back to Millers Lane because it was better than being on the streets. The tenant was putting him under pressure to pay money and that led him to Asda. He wanted to try to change his life and get some stability.”

Fleming was given a total of six months in prison and will serve half of it behind bars.