Drug addict’s festive thieving spree

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
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A would-be thief head-butted an off-duty security guard after his drug-fuelled attempt to steal electrical items was thwarted.

Martin Hulme assaulted Scott Park who had stepped in to help his colleagues at a B&M Bargains store, who were trying to stop Hulme leaving without paying for hundreds of pounds in electrical goods.

Appearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, the 35-year-old from Prospect Street, Tyldesley, pleaded guilty to common assault and theft from a shop.

The court was told how Hulme had entered the Tyldesley store and grabbed earphones, phone chargers, phone cases and light bulbs.

After walking straight past the tills and making no attempt to pay, staff stopped Hulme before he could leave the store and asked him to empty his pockets, which he refused to do.

It was at this point that Mr Park, a security guard at the shop who was on his day off and simply shopping at the time, saw the unfolding commotion and decided to help out.

But after stepping in to assist his colleagues, Mr Park was head-butted by Hulme, who was eventually restrained and held until police arrived to arrest him.

He was interviewed under police caution and accepted trying to steal the items valued at £146.82, which he apparently planned to give as Christmas presents. He also blamed his decision to make off without payment on a cocktail of drugs, admitting to have taken heroin, Valium and several cans of lager earlier in the day.

He also acknowledged that he “threw his head forward” at Mr Park but claimed it wasn’t “a proper head-butt”.

A member of the probation service told justices: “It is clear he (Hulme) is very remorseful for his actions.”

They revealed how Hulme had also taken a mixture of anti-depressants, sleeping tablets, alcohol and heroin.

Addressing the court himself, Hulme said: “I was stupid and I wish I hadn’t done it, I should know better.”

He was handed a six-month community order including a six week curfew, £220 fine and a rehab requirement.