Age won't save you from prison, warns judge

Worcester News: Age won't stop you being sent to prison in future, judge warns pensioner Age won't stop you being sent to prison in future, judge warns pensioner

A PENSIONER who attempted to steal more than £200 of shopping from a supermarket was warned by a judge that his age may not stop him going to jail next time.

Peter Cooper, aged 70, of Wellesley Court, Bransford Road, St John’s, Worcester, admitted theft before District Judge Nigel Cadbury at Worcester Magistrates’ Court.

Cooper entered Morrisons supermarket in Malvern on November 7 and tried to make off with £204.58 of shopping. He also admitted a breach of a conditional discharge imposed on September 11, also for theft from Asda in Worcester, in July.

Jackie Rogers, prosecuting, said: “He has a trolley full of goods from around the store and heads to the entrance, passing the tills and making no attempt to pay for the goods in his trolley.

“He is then seen by a security guard and performs a U-turn, walking back towards the cafe. He was detained and all the goods were recovered.”

Cooper replied “No comment” to questions asked of him and would not provide an account of his actions, Mrs Rogers said.

Susie Duncan, defending, said: “If he had taken the goods he would have sold them to raise money to supplement his income.”

Cooper receives pension credit and a private pension of £230 per month. Mrs Duncan said he took medication for diabetes and angina and clinical depression.

She said: “He’s been very low for some time. His mother, whom he describes as his best mate, died in July and he hasn’t really got over that. He is very much on his own and doesn’t see many members of his family.”

She said he was insulin dependent and did not always take proper care of himself. She also said he had £15,000 of debt. His car has been repossessed and he remains on a community order which runs until 2016. He could not work because of his health issues.

District Judge Nigel Cadbury asked the pensioner if he had been driving out to Malvern instead of shopping locally in Worcester “to get away with this”.

Cooper said the store was the nearest Morrisons.

Mr Cadbury said: “If you were to continue to behave in this way a court may decide the only way it can stop you is a suspended sentence and, if you did it again, a prison sentence. It is the last thing a court wants to do to a 70-year-old man for relatively minor offences. Just beware.

“The courts will not stop sentencing people of your age to prison if they have to.”

Cooper was given a nine- month community order and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £60 .

Comments (13)

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3:56pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Hwicce says...

So they let him off again (it was his second offence).

Not going to have much effect then is it?
So they let him off again (it was his second offence). Not going to have much effect then is it? Hwicce

4:09pm Mon 2 Dec 13

broken6 says...

Technically he didn't leave the shop. So he hasn't stolen anything. Plus, who goes to prison for 2 shoplifting offences?
Technically he didn't leave the shop. So he hasn't stolen anything. Plus, who goes to prison for 2 shoplifting offences? broken6

6:37pm Mon 2 Dec 13

notANOTHERbrilliantheadline says...

broken6 wrote:
Technically he didn't leave the shop. So he hasn't stolen anything. Plus, who goes to prison for 2 shoplifting offences?
If you try to leave the store then if is classed as theft.
He probably can't afford food with these high gas and electric rates.
[quote][p][bold]broken6[/bold] wrote: Technically he didn't leave the shop. So he hasn't stolen anything. Plus, who goes to prison for 2 shoplifting offences?[/p][/quote]If you try to leave the store then if is classed as theft. He probably can't afford food with these high gas and electric rates. notANOTHERbrilliantheadline

8:54am Tue 3 Dec 13

Arthur Blenkinsop says...

What's the old saying? There's no fool like an old fool!
What's the old saying? There's no fool like an old fool! Arthur Blenkinsop

10:39am Tue 3 Dec 13

THE FACTS says...

Cant afford food but he owns and drives a car ?

Barking ?
Cant afford food but he owns and drives a car ? Barking ? THE FACTS

1:28pm Tue 3 Dec 13

mack18 says...

Cant afford food but he owns and drives a car ? - The car has been repossessed !
My concern ; a community order already in place for another 2 years, given another 9 month order so that's going to have no effect and if he does it again it may be a suspended sentence and if he does it again, a prison sentence ???
After all the judge considers shoplifting a `relatively minor offence `
He is still a thief, no matter what age, and should be punished accordingly.
Cant afford food but he owns and drives a car ? - The car has been repossessed ! My concern ; a community order already in place for another 2 years, given another 9 month order so that's going to have no effect and if he does it again it may be a suspended sentence and if he does it again, a prison sentence ??? After all the judge considers shoplifting a `relatively minor offence ` He is still a thief, no matter what age, and should be punished accordingly. mack18

4:00pm Tue 3 Dec 13

notANOTHERbrilliantheadline says...

I can't believe I currently have -11 for that comment. Why? Gas and electric prices are too expensive for oaps, FACT! It is theft he he attempts to leave the store, also FACT! I think you people are starting to not see sense. People comment after not even reading the writing properly.. His car was repossessed..
I can't believe I currently have -11 for that comment. Why? Gas and electric prices are too expensive for oaps, FACT! It is theft he he attempts to leave the store, also FACT! I think you people are starting to not see sense. People comment after not even reading the writing properly.. His car was repossessed.. notANOTHERbrilliantheadline

4:05pm Tue 3 Dec 13

THE FACTS says...

Yep the car was repossessed after the event ...these things take time to get in court.
How else would he get £200 of food home ??
Yep the car was repossessed after the event ...these things take time to get in court. How else would he get £200 of food home ?? THE FACTS

4:39pm Tue 3 Dec 13

liketoknow says...

hol d on a bit 'private pension 230 quid a month,assume old age pension and pension credit!
hol d on a bit 'private pension 230 quid a month,assume old age pension and pension credit! liketoknow

5:40pm Tue 3 Dec 13

notANOTHERbrilliantheadline says...

Ah, another -1. That just proves there's at least 12 clueless people commenting.
Ah, another -1. That just proves there's at least 12 clueless people commenting. notANOTHERbrilliantheadline

9:46am Wed 4 Dec 13

Mr A Mazing says...

If we're being picky, he doesn't actually need to leave the shop to commit theft as you say. As soon as he 'appropriates' the items with the 'intention of permanently depriving the owner', he commits the theft.
It's all to do with his Mens Rea at the time.
I'm guessing when the police arrived it was discovered he didn't have any means to pay so his intent was assumed.

Plenty of old folk struggle to pay bills and don't resort to stealing; he deserves whatever gets thrown at him in my opinion.
If we're being picky, he doesn't actually need to leave the shop to commit theft as you say. As soon as he 'appropriates' the items with the 'intention of permanently depriving the owner', he commits the theft. It's all to do with his Mens Rea at the time. I'm guessing when the police arrived it was discovered he didn't have any means to pay so his intent was assumed. Plenty of old folk struggle to pay bills and don't resort to stealing; he deserves whatever gets thrown at him in my opinion. Mr A Mazing

5:24pm Wed 4 Dec 13

liketoknow says...

one wonders how many people actually do get away with it. he is 'very much alone' yet he had two hundred quids' worth in his trolley.
one wonders how many people actually do get away with it. he is 'very much alone' yet he had two hundred quids' worth in his trolley. liketoknow

4:11pm Fri 14 Feb 14

copierman says...

notANOTHERbrillianth
eadline
wrote:
Ah, another -1. That just proves there's at least 12 clueless people commenting.
Your post was still crap
[quote][p][bold]notANOTHERbrillianth eadline[/bold] wrote: Ah, another -1. That just proves there's at least 12 clueless people commenting.[/p][/quote]Your post was still crap copierman
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