A THIEF stole a £25 box of chocolates for an Easter present for his girlfriend because there was a “large queue and no security staff”.
Mark Patrick James Randles, 42, of Brentwood Road in Blacon took the chocolates from Thorntons in Eastgate Street at 11am on March 22, the day before Easter Sunday.
Chester Magistrates Court heard on Monday that he was foiled by a security guard at a shop opposite.
Prosecutor Sue Gibson said: “A security officer in a store opposite watched him. He walked towards the city walls. CCTV operators saw him climbing the steps on to the walls. He saw the security officer and threw the chocolates on to the ground.”
The police were then alerted and Randles made a full admission.
Ms Gibson added: “He said ‘I stole them for my girlfriend for Easter. I know it was wrong’.”
Randles had 46 previous theft and related convictions and had last appeared in Crown Court last June for possession of drugs and assault when he was given a 12-month community order.
Ashley Barnes, defending, said: “It’s not a great record, I fully accept that.
“He did, in fact, have the money and was willing to pay it but saw a large queue and no security staff stopping his exit and he thinks ‘it is an expensive box of chocolates’.”
Chair Adrienne Elloy gave Randles a conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £43 costs.