Thief stole to treat new wife

Burnley Magistrates' Court

Burnley Magistrates' Court

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A thief whose new wife has suffered a stroke keeps shoplifting to treat her as she is depressed, a court heard.

Frank Dempsey (48) stole an £80 handbag from T K Maxx in Burnley, breaching a 12-month conditional discharge imposed just two weeks ago for taking women's jeans worth £84 from Matalan in Colne in June.

Burnley Magistrates' Court was told how Dempsey, who was caught on CCTV during the latest stealing incident, has 80 offences on his record.

The defendant, of Napier Street, Nelson, admitted theft from T K Maxx. He was given a community order, with a six week curfew, between 8pm and 6am. Dempsey was ordered to pay £170 in costs and victim surcharge. District Judge James Clarke told him: "It does concern me there are quite a number of offences of theft on your record."

He warned the defendant: "This is to remind you what you have got to lose if you commit any further offences of dishonesty."

John Rusius (defending) told the hearing the offences tended to coincide with when he was in financial difficulties, often when his wife was not fit to go to medicals and there was a change in their benefits.

The defendant and his wife married last November and she had a major stroke on November 30th. The solicitor continued: "She didn't come out of hospital until January and couldn't speak at all. She has slowly been recovering. She was getting very depressed and he thought he would try and get her a handbag. He took money to pay for it. The handbag had been reduced to £30, he couldn't afford it, but still wanted to get it."