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Stolen plant pot holder was 'for aunt', thief told police
A MAN caught with a stolen penny farthing plant pot holder claimed he was going to give it to his aunt who had recently moved to Darlington, a court heard.
John Beattie, of Dublin Street, Darlington, was stopped by police at 1.20am on December 2 carrying the decorative wrought iron planter down an alleyway in the town’s Shildon Street.
Rachael Dodsworth, prosecuting at Darlington Magistrates’ Court said, when asked by police whether the £20 planter was his, the 26-year-old said it was and that he was going to give it to his aunt who had just moved to the town.
However further enquiries revealed it had been taken from a nearby garden.
Beattie admitted stealing the plant pot holder when he appeared before the town’s magistrates today (Tuesday, December 17).
He also admitted stealing three candles from Boyes in Darlington on December 4, which put him in breach of a conditional discharge imposed in December last year.
Stephanie Thompson, mitigating, said Beattie was struggling financially and had stolen the items in the hope of selling them to make enough money to feed himself.
Ordering him to pay £250.99 to the court, chairwoman of the bench Christine Selby told Beattie: “We are going to impose a financial penalty. We hope that that teaches you you can’t just go and help yourself to things.”
Magistrates allowed his existing conditional discharge to continue.