Mansfield shoplifter with “appalling” record spared jail

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A homeless shoplifter with “an appalling record” who stole from Mansfield stores and tried, but failed, to steal loose change from a parked taxi, has been spared jail.

Simon Foulkes tried to break into the Ford Mondeo at the Water Meadows fitness centre, on March 6, when he saw “something shiny” inside, which was coins next to a wallet, said prosecutor Neil Fawcett.

But his attempts to smash the window with a coping stone were unsuccessful.

On March 9, he was spotted banging and shouting on the door of a woman, described as vulnerable, and his “donkey kicks” left the door, on Howard Road, Mansfield, bent inwards.

She told police: “The incident has got me worried and I feel like I have been targeted.”

Foulkes also stole two drills, worth £50, from B&M Bargains, on February 28, leaving them in a basket, before returning to throw them over a security fence. He later sold them for £10 each, the court heard.

He also stole £43 of aftershave from Boots, on February 6, and a £35 bottle of whiskey, from Marks and Spencers, on May 17.

Foulkes, 35, of no fixed abode, previously admitted three counts of theft and one attempted theft, and pleaded guilty to the criminal damage charge, at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Tuesday, after initially denying it.

Morgan Hogarth, mitigating, said Foulkes met the woman recently and he had lent her some money.

“He thought she was inside and was trying to get her attention,” he said.

He said Foulkes was released from prison last September, and had been homeless since.

“He has maintained a script for methadone but that hasn’t always been enough for him and he has been using drugs,” said Mr Hogarth.

He said Foulkes had been the victim of violence, and ill health, while living on the streets.

But the court heard he had been offered drug treatment help.

District judge Tim Spruce said: “No one could criticise the court for sending you to prison today. Your record is quite appalling over the last few years.

“But I see your lifestyle is absolutely chaotic: released from prison, stumbling from one drug to the next, no stable accommodation.

“I know you’re capable of engaging with probation and sorting yourself out. But you’re not taking up the support.”

He sentenced Foulkes to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for one year, and put him on a drug rehabilitation course.

Foulkes was ordered to pay £178 compensation, with costs of £200, which will be added to the £1,135 he already owes the court.

He was banned from contacting the woman, whose door he damaged, for five years.