Jewels thief told staff ‘I’m sorry’

A SHOPLIFTER who stole almost £5,000 worth of goods in one raid has been given a fresh chance to conquer his addiction to alcohol.

Most of Peter Alexander McMahon’s thefts were low value but he hit the jackpot when he slipped behind the counter of a jewellery shop on Mexborough High Street last June, Doncaster Crown Court was told.

While staff were distracted, the 22-year-old got away with £4,800 worth of jewellery from a display case at David Bennett’s shop.

None of the property was recovered, said Helen Wheatley, prosecuting.

McMahon, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of burglary at the shop and two thefts of whiskey and meat from Mexborough supermarkets on other dates.

Miss Wheatley said Bennett’s staff were distracted by someone asking about the price of scrap gold.

But after the jewellery was discovered missing the CCTV was checked and showed a clear view of McMahon taking it.

When he was arrested for being drunk and disorderly three weeks later his face was matched to the CCTV images.

The court was told he had a long record for thefts, mainly to pay for alcohol, and he had did not realise the jewellery shop raid would be classed as a burglary because he had entered the display case.

Megan Rhys, defending, said he had even said ‘sorry’ to the assistant when confronted and he knew he would be apprehended because he was so well known to the police.

“It was an opportunistic offence while he was of no fixed address and sleeping on friends’ sofas,” she said.

McMahon was sentenced to a 24 months’ community order with supervision and an alcohol treatment requirement.