Drunk thief passed out when stopped by store security

A RYHILL man stole a bottle of alcohol from a supermarket - despite having already drunk so much that he passed out after being caught by security.

Mark Differ, 30, of Westfield Crescent, hid the £13.77 bottle of Amaretto in his coat and tried to leave the Morrisons store in Knottingley on Friday, August 12.

Pontefract Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that Differ had been spotted trying to steal the alcohol by the store manager and was stopped by security. He produced the bottle and started swearing and swinging his arms around before collapsing to the floor.

An ambulance was called and Differ was taken to hospital, where he later discharged himself.

The court heard that Differ was interviewed by police and bailed to appear before court in March but he never showed up. A warrant without bail was issued and he was arrested on Sunday and held in custody overnight.

Differ pleaded guilty to theft and failing to surrender.

John Nixon, mitigating, said: “He failed to attend because he was living in Barnsley and couldn’t get from there to Pontefract. He was arrested in Barnsley and has spent the night in custody. As far as the theft in concerned, it does go back some time.

“He has pleaded guilty to both offences at the first opportunity. Drink has been a problem in this man’s life and he accepts he was in drink at the time of the theft, to the extent that he passed out during the course of the arrest.”

Differ was handed a six-month conditional discharge for the theft. Magistrates considered the night spent in custody was enough punishment for the failing to surrender offence. He was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.