Grantham court: ‘Unsophisticated’ thefts committed while drunk

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The court heard how a Grantham man drunkenly attempted to obtain a refund for a TV by presenting staff with the item’s security tag.

As well as pleading guilty to committing fraud by false representation at Asda on September 20, John Gaskin, aged 44, of Stonemasons Court, also admitted stealing a bottle of vodka from B&M Bargains on September 23.

Daniel Pietryka, prosecuting, related how Gaskin went into Grantham’s Asda supermarket and headed for the electrical department where he took the security tag off a boxed television.

Gaskin then went to the customer service desk with the tag and told staff that he had purchased the TV and wanted a refund.

However this was refused and he was asked to wait, before leaving the store without the refund or the TV.

Referring to the second matter, Mr Pietryka said Gaskin went into B&M Bargains on the High Street, selected a bottle of vodka and hid it in his coat before leaving with making payment, all of which was captured on 
CCTV.

During interview Gaskin said he had been drunk during both of the thefts.

In Gaskin’s defence, Rob Arthur detailed how there had been a reduction in his client’s offending since he had overcome long-term drug problems.

However Gaskin had since developed a problem with alcohol instead, although he had been trying to solve this by going to Addaction and looking into a residential rehabilitation program.

Mr Arthur said both offences had been committed while Gaskin was drunk, and that the theft in Asda was ‘unsophisticated in the extreme’.

Gaskin received a conditional discharge lasting 12 months, and must pay a £15 victim surcharge.