Kirkby shoplifter set to turn his life around

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A Kirkby shoplifter looked as if he was pregnant when he stuffed stolen clothing down his top in a bid to raise cash for his drug habit, a court heard.

Michael Gilbert was spotted with a bulge under his coat at Matalan, Mansfield, on December 12, and was followed outside by the store manager, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

But when she tried to retrieve the clothes, worth £80, he shrugged her off and ran away.

And when the store manager at Morrisons, Sutton, asked him for a receipt for a trolley packed with £500 of clothing, on November 27, Gilbert shouted threats and ran away.

The court heard he was jailed for 16 weeks in September 2018, for burglary, and last appeared in court for shop thefts, in July 2018.

Donna Pursglove, mitigating, said since Gilbert was recalled to prison, he has “been doing better than ever before.”

“Despite the fact of poor compliance and lots of custodial sentences he seems to have turned a corner and that’s incredibly positive,” she said.

“He says “I have spent the last ten years going in and out of custody and I want to lead an ordinary life.””

She said he had stopped taking heroin and crack cocaine, and was due to get help for his mental health.

Gilbert, 28, of Banks Avenue, admitted the thefts when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Friday.

He was given a six month community order with five rehabilitation days.

Chair Philip Marsh said: “This is the last chance before you go back to custody.

“Nobody else can do this other than you. We hope that you make the best of that.”

He was ordered to pay £85 compensation to Morrisons, which will be added tothe £1,825 he already owes to the court.