Shoplifter stole to feed himself and his dog

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A man went shoplifting so could feed himself and his dog, a court heard.

Mark Alderson, 40, pinched a £49 electric toothbrush from Lloyds Pharmacy on Northgate to buy provisions after getting into difficulty with his benefits.

Alderson, of Arundel Close, Wakefield, admitted the July 25 theft when he appeared before city magistrates on Monday.

Lucy Malpas, mitigating, “He took the toothbrush. He has put it within his clothing. He took it and immediately sold it. What did he do with the money? He said he went out and bought food for himself and his dog.”

The bench heard how he had also been in court last Friday when he was fined for stealing £9 worth of items from Tesco, which also included dog food.

The court heard Alderson had been a prolific offender with drug issues in the past but his offending had declined.

Miss Malpas said the two recent thefts were not drug related, adding: “These thefts were only in relation to food.”

The solicitor said her client had been without benefits for four to five weeks and did not have enough money to cover both him and his dog eating.

She said she had advised Alderson about using food banks should he find himself in difficulty in the future.

Magistrate Lorraine Jeffery said: “Mr Alderson, you haven’t made it easy for us today. We think the time has come for you to get some support. So we would like you to be interviewed by probation.”

He was granted conditional bail and The case was adjourned until August 11.