Shoplifter nabbed after he dropped his address book

Mansfield Magistrates Court.
Mansfield Magistrates Court.

A shoplifter was caught when he dropped a notebook containing his address while being chased by members of the public in Retford.

Paul Lomas, 28, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to stealing raisins from Wilkinsons on March 16, washing products from Iceland on March 21 and baby milk from Boots on April 2.

Robert Carr, prosecuting, said Lomas also admitted stealing around £44 worth of candles with another man from the Clintons Card shop on Carolgate, on March 26

He said the pair were chased out of the shop by the female shopkeeper and members of the public joined in the pursuit.

“As they fled a small book with his details fell from his pocket,” said Mr Carr.

Lomas was also identified on CCTV, the court heard.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said Lomas was homeless and estranged from his family.

“He has debts with Hope for Homeless which prevent him from getting accommodation.

“He has resorted to living in an abandoned garden shed.”

Because of this, said Mr Pridham, Lomas had been unable to claim benefits and had committed the shop thefts ‘in order to live.’

He said Lomas ‘has had a real problem with drugs’.

“He was arrested on Saturday while collecting his methadone,” he said. “He didn’t test positive for drugs. He is currently not taking heroin. He has been in custody for two days and is not suffering any withdrawal.”

Ironically, said Mr Pridham, this week a friend had secured accommodation which Lomas could use to make a benefits claim from.

The court heard Lomas owed £600 in fines and court costs.

He was sentenced to 21 days in prison and told to pay an £80 victim surcharge.