Shoplifter struck twice at same store

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A 48-YEAR-OLD man stole booze from an Alnwick store before returning a week later for a repeat performance.

Keith Charles Murray, of Plains Farm, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to stealing three bottles of champagne and two bottles of vodka from the Co-op on Victoria Terrace.

Magistrates at South East Northumberland on Friday heard that since those thefts on Monday, January 30, and Monday, February 6, Murray had been sentenced to two 12-week prison sentences for other shoplifting offences.

Murray, along with co-accused Kristopher McCully, entered the shop around 6pm on January 30 and McCully stood so that the camera couldn’t see Murray while he took a bottle of Moet champagne before returning and stealing another two bottles.

A week later, the pair returned to the store and using the same technique, Murray took two bottles of vodka.

When McCully went to the till to pay for other items, including a bottle of Lambrini and some milk, staff recognised him and the pair ran off.

His fingerprints were discovered on the Lambrini and milk and the two were identified.

McCully had already been sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £66 compensation, half of the total value of the alcohol.

The court heard that Murray has previously had a brain tumour as well as suffering from both testicular and lung cancers, which are now in remission, and financial problems meant he had turned to crime.

He was also sentenced to a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £66 compensation.