A TROUBLED teen walked into a Wigan department store and stole hundreds of pounds worth of aftershave to pay off a drug debt, a court heard.
Jonathan James Henry McDonald of Kestrel Park, Skelmersdale, had been stabbed and threatened physically because he owed thousands of pounds.
The 19-year-old received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay £100 costs at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court this week.
In what was described as a “blatant” act of theft, the 19-year-old walked into Debenhams in Wigan town centre and left with £366 worth of toiletries on June 8.
Peter Moran, defending, told the court McDonald had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
He said: “We are dealing with a vulnerable youth who has been stabbed by somebody to whom he owed money. He has also been hit with a baseball bat since his last appearance in court.
“The theft act was without any sophistication, he walked in and then walked out with the goods in a bag before he was caught by security guards.
“He does not get on with his family and this is a man who cannot express his thoughts very well because he has learning difficulties – attention deficit order and Asperger’s Syndrome.
“I would suggest that if he appears before the court again something more serious will happen for him.”
The court was told that McDonald was desperate to pay off his £4,000 debt and had been living in the garage of a relative’s house.
Magistrate Alan Baybutt said: “We have decided that for this offence we will have a conditional discharge which because you pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity will be for 12 months and not 18 as it could have been.
“If you commit any other offences for the next 12 months you will be punished for both offences.
“You will pay £85 costs plus a victim surcharge of £15 which will be deducted from your benefits.”