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Boxset stolen to pay for food.

AWARD?WINNING TV show Downton Abbey proved irresistible to a shoplifter who was "desperate" for cash, a court heard.

Kevin William W Ross, 47, stole a DVD boxset of the upstairs-downstairs costume drama when he needed money for food and medication after being released from hospital.

He went into the WH Smith store in W Middlesbrough's Cleveland Centre and was seen acting suspiciously, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Ross selected one of the more expensive items, a boxset of Downton Abbey A DVDS, and hid it.

He made no attempt to pay and was detained by security staff.

He was taken to another part of the store and when police attended he was noticed trying to hide something.

He was then found to have keys and a wallet belonging to a member of staff.

Ross, 47, of Rutland Court, MiddlesR -brough, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft. He also admitted breaching two suspended sentence orders, one imposed for criminal damage and one for possessing a bladed article.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Ross had just been released from hospital where he had undergone surgery.

His barrister Nicholas Rooke said: "He had no money for food or medication. He was desperate."

Ross intended to sell the boxset to pay for medication and food.

Mr Rooke said after he was detained he took the keys and wallet.

The court heard that Ross had a history of drug addiction and had previously been homeless but now had an address which he didn't want to lose.

Referring to the offence of possessing a bladed article, for which he received a suspended sentence order, he said Ross had been homeless at the time and carried the knife to open cans.

Ross was given a community order for 12 months with supervision and an electronically monitored curfew for three months, plus a PS60 surcharge.


Downton boxset
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 16, 2014
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