Theft of store security tag device 'was foolish'
A MAN who stole a de-tagging device from a shop has been given a conditional discharge after his solicitor told a court he had turned his life around.
Stephen Kearney, aged 40, took the item from Sports World – where staff said its only use was to remove security tags.
But solicitor Julian Jefferson told Plymouth magistrates Kearney did not intend to use the device and in fact had 'disposed of it'.
He added Kearney's progress was a 'success story'.
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Kearney, of Taunton Avenue, Whitleigh, admitted theft of the device worth £150 from the city centre store on March 23.
Angela Furniss, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said staff noticed the device was missing and Kearney was spotted on CCTV removing it from its housing.
Mr Jefferson said he had a difficult upbringing. He added: "He got into bad habits and bad company and turned to drink and drugs. He is now aged 40 and it is time to sort himself out."
Mr Jefferson said that since his last previous sentence he had 'turned his life around'. He added he was clear from drugs, had reduced his drinking to a normal social level and had reconciled with his family. Mr Jefferson said: "The theft came at a time when he had just been released from prison. It was a stupid and foolish thing to do, those are his words."
Magistrates gave him a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered that he pay £150 compensation.