Thief who stole from leisure centre locker days after being given suspended sentence is jailed (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Thief who stole from Darlington leisure centre locker days after being given suspended sentence is jailed
A THIEF who rummaged through lockers in a Darlington leisure centre six days after being given a suspended prison sentence has been jailed for 22 weeks.
Magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told that Christopher Vincent Paul Henderson had gone to the Dolphin Centre to use the showers as he had no money to get gas or electricity at his Darlington home.
While in the centre at about 6pm on February 26, the 26-year-old, of West Moor Road, stole £5 from one locker and searched another.
The offences, which Henderson admitted, occurred just six days after magistrates gave him a 16 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for previous thefts.
Prosecutor Jonathan Bambro said one of Henderson’s victims was in a changing room when the 26-year-old walked in.
Henderson then sat down fully clothed, arousing the man’s suspicion, the court heard.
As the victim turned his back, Henderson reached into his open locker and pulled out £5, the court heard.
Mr Bambro said Henderson started laughing and handed the money back before leaving the room after the victim challenged him.
Security staff contacted police, and someone from a different changing room reported that their clothes had been pulled out of the locker.
Henderson admitted taking the £5 and rummaging through the other locker.
John Clish representing Henderson said his client is a member of the Dolphin Centre gym and had initially gone in to use the shower.
Mr Clish said his client’s benefits had been stopped after he spent time in prison before being released with the suspended sentence on February 20.
He said: “Mr Henderson found himself in a difficult financial situation.
“When he returned to his address he had no gas, no money for food and was living in relative squalor.”
Mr Clish said Henderson, a recovering heroin addict, stole the £5 to buy food and that in both incidents he targeted open lockers.
Magistrates jailed him for 16 weeks for his previous offences and a further six weeks to run consecutively for the new theft, saying he had shown a “total disregard for court orders”.