Scratch card thief goes free

A burglar who stole a stack of scratchcards from a store has earned his freedom from prison.

Peter Stead, 34, from Hartlepool in the United Kingdom, had only been out of prison just for a few days for vacation purposes when he stole £234 worth of Scratchcards from WH Smith store in the city. However, he was caught nearby before he managed to actually scratch any of the cards.

One day later on February 3 he was sent to prison fr 14 weeks by Teesside Magistrates for stealin and hold of some cannabis found in his pocket. But, his luck changed  yesterday when he successfully pled the ecision at Teesside Crown Court.
The decision was suspended for 1 year plus a drugs rehabilitation order and a 15 days rehab requirement. Stead, of Lealholm Road, Hartlepool, who had pleaded guilty, was told that he would be released immediately.

Andrew Teate, the defending attorney said that Stead went into Smith’s on February 2 where he bought a bottle of pop and a newspaper spending £1. 50. He was arrested by the pollice shortly afterwards in the shopping centre and the cards were recovered unused so the store that didn’t suffer any loss. Mr Teate mentioned: “He realized that the scratchcards were on display with no one in attendance and he took them . “Mr Teate said that although Stead had an horribile record in the past for shop stealing offences, this was one offence of steal|stealing|crime|fraud which had given him a 14 weeks jail sentence .

“He said that the cannabis that was found him by the police on his arrest had been returned to him by the prison authorities on his release on January 27 as part of his belongings. The judge told Stead that his previous shoplifting offences had no doubt been in the purose to get the funds for Class A drugs. Judge Simon Hickey mentioned that Stead was undoubtedly going to sell the scratchcards, but a suspended convict could be imposed with the threat that it would eventually become immediate if he re-offended after taking a drugs rehabilitation process.

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