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Man fined after stealing headphones for his depressed sister
A MISGUIDED attempt to cheer his sister up led to a Darlington man appearing in court.
Michael Stewart, 24, of Dumfries Street stole a set of headphones worth £69.99 from the Game store in the Cornmill Shopping Centre on August 16.
Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard today (Tuesday, September 3) that when police arrived to arrest him, he had to be wrestled to the ground by three officers after he flailed around and elbowed a PCSO in the face.
Mitigating, Laura Saunders-Jerrom said Stewart, who was under a conditional discharge, had recently moved in with his sister who was severely depressed and had recently made two serious suicide attempts.
On the morning of the theft, his sister had mentioned that she wanted some headphones so while Stewart was walking through the Cornmill centre he impulsively stole a pair for her.
The court heard that Stewart had a string of theft convictions and had served time in prison but Ms Saunders-Jerrom said his previous offending related to paying off drug debts and that he was now receiving help for problems.
She said: “His sister, who has grave mental health issues, would be left on her own if he was sent to prison.
“That is why he resisted the officers, because he desperately realised what a mess he had made.
“What a thing to carry round with you; going to prison for stealing headphones for your sister and then she goes on to take her own life.”
Stewart pleaded guilty to theft and two counts of resisting an officer.
Magistrates ordered he pay a total of £178 in court fines and charges.