Drug addict tried to con Tesco staff

Burnley Magistrates Court.
Burnley Magistrates Court.

A drug addict who used a receipt to try and get Tesco refunds on goods he hadn’t bought was caught after a security officer got suspicious, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how on April 28th, Gareth Rivers got money for a paella meal, but not a bottle of wine which didn’t match the wine on the receipt.

He left the store with the receipt and the wine and security worker Ben Webster was suspicious and followed him on CCTV.

Mr Webster then saw Rivers walk back into the store seconds later, exchange the wine for a bottle off the shelf, walk back to the customer services desk and get a refund on it.

Rivers was detained by the officer as he was going to leave and confessed he had come into the shop with just the receipt and selected items from the shelves to get refunds.

Mr Webster then looked back on CCTV and found that the day before, the defendant, in the same clothes, had picked up some foundation from the makeup aisle and received a refund with the same receipt.

The defendant admitted two counts of fraud by false representation at Burnley, involving a total of £19. Rivers, of Holmby Street, in the town, was given a six month conditional discharge. He had 45 offences on his record.

Bash Khan, in mitigation, said the frauds were not sophisticated. The solicitor said Rivers, who had a borderline personality disorder, had been seeking help from Inspire, the drink and drugs treatment service.

The solicitor added: “He needed money to fund his drug habit.”