Shoplifter caught on camera is spared jail

Crime news
Crime news

A MAN who stole goods from two stores has avoided jail.

Michael Ashton-Owens, 34, of Devonshire Road, Atherton, admitted stealing Aftershock alcohol worth £19.99 from Bargin Booze then a £30 bottle of perfume from Lloyds Pharmacy 13 days later when he appeared before Wigan justices. He was caught on CCTV and tested positive for cocaine after arrest.

Prosecuting, Mike Ardern said this suggested he was funding a drug habit.

The court heard the defendant, already in breach of a court order to complete 12 months’ unpaid work, became “disengaged” after turning back to drugs when his methadone medication was stopped. Ashton-Owens was given a 180-day jail sentence suspended for two years, placed on curfew, ordered to complete a drugs rehabilitation course and placed under nine months’ supervision.