Grantham court: Multiple offender gets his sentence replaced

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A multiple offender has had his recently imposed community order revoked and replaced with a suspended sentence.

Daniel Short, aged 34, now of Norton Street, Grantham received the 12 month community order on September 8 after pleading guilty to five counts of shoplifting.

However, he appeared in court again this week charged with making off without payment following a meal at the Ghurka Square restaurant on Wharf Road on September 18.

Short pleaded guilty to this new offence, as well as to an earlier theft of an electric guitar committed on August 1 and to breaching the drug rehabilitation requirement which formed part of his previous sentence.

In relation to the unpaid meal, prosecutor Paul Wood, said that Short and his former girlfriend clocked up a bill of £82.90 after eating and drinking at the restaurant.

While his girlfriend was in the toilet Short went outside apparently for a cigarette, but then didn’t return.

When staff presented his girlfriend with the bill she refused to pay, and during the resulting argument she began throwing things around and abused members of staff, for which she was separately charged explained Mr Wood.

Short was later found and arrested by police, at which point he said: “Well f**k it, you’ve got to try. You might get away with a free meal or you might have to deal with this s**t.”

Moving on to the theft of the guitar, Mr Wood said that Short and his former girlfriend had been offered a place to stay for five weeks by a friend who is a musician, but on leaving they ‘repaid that kindness by taking one of his guitars.’

They then took the instrument to a pawnbrokers and received £20, although this was later recovered with the brokers seeking compensation.

Chris Payne from the probation service also gave evidence reporting that Short had failed to attend appointments as part of his six month drug rehabiliation requirement.

Mr Payne said that when Short did turn up on another unscheduled date he was ‘clearly under the influence on some substance’, and ended up falling asleep in the reception area.

Rob Arthur, defending, highlighted that Short’s former partner was also involved and that he had nothing to do with the damage to the restaurant.

Moreover he pointed out that the guitar theft pre-dated the community order.

He said that his client was in contact with the Drugs and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) and undergoing treatment with methodrone.

Mr Arthur described Short’s difficulty in securing permanent accommodation as the ‘crux’ of his problems, including with regards to keeping in touch with the probation service as his address had changed.

He added that Short is unable to work due to a knee injury, and has been told that he can’t have the necessary operation until he has a fixed address where he can spend his recovery.

On sentencing magistrates described the theft as ‘particularly nasty, being from someone who had offered shelter’ and in reference to the making off without payment charge said ‘you had a meal knowing full well you had no intention to pay.’

Consequently the magistrates decided to revoke the community order and re-sentenced Short to a suspended custodial sentence of 12 weeks.

This also comes with a supervision requirement for 12 months and a drug rehabilitation requirement.

Lastly, Short was ordered to pay £82.90 in compensation to the restaurant and £20 in compensation to the pawnbrokers.