This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.
A shoplifter from Derby thanked a judge and told him “I’m happy with that” after escaping a fresh prison term for stealing booze.
A court heard how Robert-Booth Isherwood had “an extensive record” for theft, including taking alcohol from Marks and Spencer at the Intu Derby, and earlier this year had served two short jail terms after admitting other offences.
But since he was released from his latest stint inside, earlier this year, he has not re-offended and has been “engaging positively” with the probation service.
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His own solicitor, John Hay, told District Judge Andrew Meachin: “Robert Booth-Isherwood is a man who is not unfamiliar with these courts and you may have even dealt with him yourself once or twice before.
“Like a number of offenders who appear before you he has had a problem with drugs, including heroin, for most of his life.
“He has a terrible record in all honesty and in June this year received his latest prison sentence.
“But the positive thing I can say about him, and frankly I have never been able to say this before, is that, since his release, he has kept out of trouble and has not reoffended.
“He has been doing a lot better with his attendance with the probation service and has been engaging positively with them.
“He is confronting his drug issues and I would urge the court to give him a chance on this occasion.”
Peter Bettany, prosecuting at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court, said Booth-Isherwood’s latest offences pre-date his last prison sentence and saw him twice steal booze from Marks and Spencer at the Intu centre, in Derby.
He said the 35-year-old, of London, Road, entered the store at around 9.10am on May 25 and left having failed to pay for a bottle of whisky.
Mr Bettany said: “This was caught on the shop’s CCTV system and the defendant was recognised by the CCTV operator.
“However, the following day he carried out exactly the same offence, walking into the Marks and Spencer in Traffic Street, Derby, selecting alcohol and leaving without paying.”
Mr Bettany said Booth-Isherwood was arrested and initially tried to deny being the person responsible for the shoplifting offences telling officers he could not have carried them out as he was in prison at the time.
But he said this was a lie and he has now pleaded guilty to the two counts of theft.
Handing him a 12-month community order with a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement, Judge Meachin said: “It is refreshing to hear you have started to take responsibility and maybe that is down to you being a bit older and realising you need to sort yourself out?”
Booth-Isherwood replied: “I’m happy with that.”
Judge Meachin also handed him a 14-week curfew confining him to his address each night between 7pm and 7am.
And he ordered him to pay £116 compensation to Marks and Spencer at £10 per week from his benefits.