Habitual small time criminal Jed Simmonds admitted he had reached rock bottom after being caught whilst shoplifting at Poundland, the high street bargain basement store.
‘I’m deeply ashamed of myself,’ he told Rochdale Magistrates Court. ‘I used be a self respecting operator nicking half decent quality gear at upmarket stores like Poundstretcher and Woolworths and now it’s come to this.’
Security guard Jermaine Horrocks was responsible for apprehending Simmonds. ‘I knew he was up to something ‘cos he tried to leave the shop only 5 minutes after coming in. That’s very suspicious because the average waiting time is at least an hour at this time of year.’
In mitigation, Simmonds, 37, told the court that the shoplifting was not for personal gain, but to give a little seasonal thank you to his brother and his partner who were ‘havin’ a hard time what with me staying with them and all that.’
‘For my brother I was getting a sticky backed plastic loo seat cover with a picture of some dolphins on it. His dream is to go swimming with dolphins before he dies. Not that he’s dying or nothing. I thought pissing with dolphins is the next best thing to swimming with them.’
‘And for Courtney,’ he continued, ‘as she is on a health kick at the moment, I lifted some vapour rub. It says it’s good for chests and I was half hoping she might let me help her put it on. Of course, that’s my dream not hers.’
After pleading guilty to the charge, Simmonds asked for the Brink’s-Mat and Great Train Robberies to be taken into consideration, but when challenged he admitted that he was only trying to ‘big up’ his crime to cover his embarrassment.
Following plea bargaining Simmonds was given a cut price fine of £10 and was instructed to repay every penny up to the full £2 value of the stolen goods. He was also ordered to serve at the till at Poundland for 30 hours.