Wigan thief hid beef joints down his tracksuit bottoms

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A drug addict tried to steal meat from a Wigan supermarket to fund his increasing addiction, a court heard.

Anthony James Connor stashed four joints of beef in his tracksuit at the Lidl store in Pemberton but was thwarted by security who raised the alarm to police.

The 32-year-old, of Viscount Road, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop, as well as breaching a community order, at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

Connor had been seen stuffing four large joints of beef into his clothing before leaving the premises. He was challenged by security. The food was recovered after he was searched, and a small quantity of the drug Spice was also found.

Defending, Martin Jones said: “When my client was apprehended there was no suggestion that he tried to make off. He went with the store manager and retrieved the items from his tracksuit bottoms and waited for the police to arrive. When the police arrived he admitted he was guilty and even signed the officer’s notebook.”

Mr Jones added that Connor had told him that he was aware he needed support and “would welcome intervention from the probation service.”

A member of the probation service also addressed the magistrates, revealing that Connor’s drug problems had become more severe in recent weeks, going from using illegal substances two to three times a week to taking drugs like heroin, crack cocaine and spice on a daily basis.

After hearing that sending him to jail would only reset Connor’s pattern of offending, the bench instead decided to impose a 12 month community order. This will comprise a nine month drug rehabilitation requirement, 15 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement and a four week curfew from 7pm to 7am.

He must also pay £85 in court costs and a £90 victim surcharge.