A HEREFORD thief stole alcohol in a bid to get arrested, a court has heard.

Jack David Smalley admitted one count of theft from a shop when he appeared before magistrates in Hereford.

The 24-year-old had walked in Hereford's Holme Lacy Road Coop on February 2, picking up a bottle of vodka and a bottle of gin and walking back out, prosecutor Shafquat Reaz said.

The court heard Smalley had been subject to a suspended sentence order imposed in August at the time, which he admitted breaching.


Chris Read, for Smalley, said he had been present at the police station when Smalley had been interviewed, and that the man standing before the court was very different to the man he had seen in the police station that day.

"On that day he was in a very low state of mind and looked very different physically," Mr Read said.

"He told me he had done it so someone would arrest him and help him.

"I told him he needed to be proactive in trying to get help, and perhaps said that more in hope than expectation, but he has come through. He is engaging with MIND and has had his first appointment with them. He is engaging with Vennture and Turning Point and has the offer of employment with his grandfather starting next week.

"The offence before the court today is of a very different nature to the offence for which the suspended sentence was imposed, which was assault on an emergency worker. He is subject to a community order and it is fair to say he is trying.


"I am very, very surprised and gratified that in the time since this he has made some very significant efforts on his own behalf, and things do seem to be much more positive than I anticipated.

"I would ask you not to activate the suspended sentence, because simply taking him off the streets for a short time and then releasing him to have to restart all these efforts will not achieve much."

Smalley, who is of no fixed address, was fined £120 and ordered to pay compensation of £30 to Coop. He must also pay costs of £50.