Shoplifter stole booze for works Christmas party

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A shoplifter who stole booze worth £60 for his works Christmas "do" on Boxing Day had a knife in his rucksack, a court heard.

Factory worker Maris Strautnieks (25) was found out when CCTV footage from Colne Asda showed him removing the security tags with his thumbs from four bottles of Jack Daniels.

He was taken to a holding room, the bag was at his feet and he was trying to conceal something.

Burnley magistrates were told how Strautnieks, who is from Latvia, was arrested and taken to the police station.

Prosecutor Miss Charlotte Crane told the hearing: "He said it was his intention to steal alcohol because he had his works Christmas party that evening.

"He said he had been using the knife to mend his telephone charger earlier and had forgotten about it. There is no suggestion he brandished it."

The defendant, of Fleet Street, Nelson, admitted theft of the whisky and possessing a knife blade. Strautnieks, who had no previous convictions, was given eight weeks in jail, suspended for a year and must pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

The hearing was told Strautnieks, who came to the Uk two years ago, had been invited to the party but had no money, his friend wouldn't lend him any and so he stole the drink.

Miss Selina Akhtar, defending Strautnieks, said he worked 12-hour shifts at a local factory. She added: "He completely forgot he had the knife with him."