Homeless thief pledges to steal again in bid for prison

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A homeless man who stole to feed himself and a ten-year drug habit said he would ‘have to do it all over again’ because his plea for imprisonment was refused at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court.

Paul Godfrey, 49, of no fixed abode, admitted stealing £70 of groceries from Asda on Old Mill Lane, on May 21, and nearly £80 of items from Marks & Spencer on West Gate, the very next day.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, said Godfrey told police he ‘had gone to steal the items because he was hungry and had no money.’

He was stopped by security guards at the Four Seasons shopping centre in Mansfield on May 22 because he is banned and Godfrey told them he had stolen underwear from Marks & Spencer to sell in order to buy drugs.

Lynsey Morrison, mitigating, told the court Godfrey had a ten-year-long heroin habit.

“He has tried to get off it but tells me he always ends up back on it,” she said.

“He tells me his being imprisoned will give him an opportunity to get away from negative associations in the area and get clean.”

But magistrates ruled the day he had already spent in detention was sufficient.

As he was released, Godfrey said: “I will just have to do it all over again.”