Homeless man jailed for stealing food in Worksop

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court
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A homeless man who is banned from Sainsburys in Worksop asked how he was supposed to feed himself as he was jailed for shoplifting food.

John Patrick Rushton, 29, of no fixed abode, admitted stealing food worth £12.50 from the Newcastle Avenue store on April 10, which put him in breach of a criminal behaviour order, made on October 8, 2015, banning him from the store.

Denis Quinn, prosecuting, said: “He was watched as he left the store and was arrested a short distance away, but he didn’t have the food on him.”

Cheryl Nisbet, of the probation service, said: “Mr Rushton appears to be someone who gets into treatment then doesn’t collect his script and starts using heroin again.

“He’s got all the help that’s needed but he is leading quite a chaotic lifestyle.

“It’s been put to me that he is not out of custody long enough for us to sort out accommodation.”

Chris Perry, mitigating, said Rushton had been in care and had no ‘supportive carer roles or family that can look after him.’

He said: “The friends that he has are also those that are using drugs.

“He has been left with an addiction that he can’t overcome. His problem is he can’t find suitable accommodation. He took £12.50 of food for his consumption.

“We can only hope that he will be lucky enough to gain some accommodation.”

The court heard this was the 53rd time Rushton had been in court, mainly for offences of dishonesty, with 45 thefts.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison and ordered to pay £12.50 compensation.

As he was led down, Rushton shouted: “How the hell am I supposed to feed myself when I am not allowed in any shops in Worksop?

“Every time you just send me to jail. You never help me.”