A CRESWELL dad who bungled a raid on a store was trying to raise cash to pay off a drug dealer, a court was told.
Stephen Newton took a pair of pliers into Sports Direct at Shirebrook and cut off security tags on training shoes before leaving without paying for them.
But he left the broken tags inside the bag containing the stolen shoes and was stopped by staff.
Chesterfield magistrates were told that Newton (34) had also stolen a pair of hiking boots worth £30.
He was wearing them when he was detained and they still had store labels attached, said Helen Griffiths, prosecuting.
“He said he went there intending to steal shoes because he had a £40 drug debt. He was going to sell the shoes to pay it off,” added Mrs Griffiths.
Newton, of Church Street, Creswell, admitted theft of three pairs of trainers worth a total of £70 and a pair of walking boots on 4th November.
He had previously been cautioned by police for going equipped for theft in 2010.
The bench fined him £130, with £85 costs, and ordered him to pay £30 compensation for the used boots which could not be re-sold. The pliers will be destroyed.
“He was under pressure to pay off the drug debt. It was a foolish and unprofessional theft as he removed the tags and then walked through security with them still in the bag with the shoes,” said Gavin Haigh, for Newton.
The court heard that Newton owed a dealer money for the illegal stimulant M-Cat.
“He has now stopped the habit and wants nothing to do with the drug,” said Mr Haigh.
He added that Newton was unable to work because of depression. He lived with his girlfriend and her child and he had another child not living with him.