Final chance for shoplifter

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A prolific shoplifter from Hucknall, who has served “at least 24 custodial sentences”, has been given a final chance by a court to turn his life around.

Brett Riley (31), formerly of Salterford Road, was the scourge of stores in the Dispatch district to such an extent that, last year, he was given an ASBO banning him from Poundland in Bulwell.

Riley pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to breaching that ASBO -- and also to three further charges of shoplifting, the latest of which was only two weeks ago at the Tesco Extra superstore in Hucknall where, it was said, he “went crazy” when apprehended..

However, the court heard that he was transforming his lifestyle after taking steps to tackle his drug addiction. And magistrates agreed to pleas by his solicitor, Mark Holder (defending), to grant him a community order, rather than another prison sentence.

The chairman of the Bench told Riley: “Your record is horrendous. But locking you up would be a pointless exercise. You need help and support.”

Mr Holder said a probation report revealed that social workers were “staggered at the significant progress he has made in such a short space of time”.

“With the help of the homeless organisation, Framework, he has moved out of the Hucknall area where he was plagued by others, and was a nuisance to others,” he continued..

“The number of offences is reducing, and his drug use has decreased. He is engaging with drug workers, and his last seven drug tests have been negative.

“These are all ongoing positives and, hopefully, it is the start of the way forward. If he is ever going to make progress, now is the time. The alternative is the clang of prison gates on a regular cycle.”

Rosie Wilde (prosecuting) said Riley was “extremely abusive, volatile and threatening” when caught on the latest occasion by a security guard, who had to pin him to the floor, with the help of a member of the public, in Tesco car park.

Riley’s community order, which covers 12 months, includes supervision by probation and drug rehabilitation treatment. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £40, a victim surcharge of £60 and compensation to Tesco of £20.68 for stolen items that were not recovered.