Homeless serial thief was caught stealing beauty products from a chemist shop

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A homeless serial thief has been given a chance after he was caught stealing beauty products from a chemist.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on November 6 how Leo Straker, 36, of no fixed abode, had been visiting Lloyds Pharmacy when he stole the beauty products on August 20 and August 23.

Mrs Allsop, prosecuting, said: “He went into the pharmacy and handed over a prescription for a needle exchange and while staff were distracted he was seen putting products in his pockets.”

Straker struck twice, according to Mrs Allsop, under similar circumstances with just three days between offences.

The defendant told police he had stolen beauty products from the side of the till to sell on to get money for food and he knew he should not have done it.

Straker, who has 38 theft and kindred offences to his name, pleaded guilty to the two thefts from August 20 and 23.

Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said Straker is already subject to a community order but the thefts pre-dated the imposition of the order but had not been addressed until now.

Mr Tomlinson added that Straker has had difficulties with Universal Credit benefits and he has been struggling to survive.

Straker has had issues with drug addiction and stealing to get food, according to Mr Tomlinson.

Magistrates sentenced Straker to a 12 month conditional discharge but warned that if he commits a further crime he will be re-sentencd for the thefts along with any new offence.

Straker was also ordered to pay £150 compensation.