Home Pay off Newport man robbed B&M to pay off drug debt

Newport man robbed B&M to pay off drug debt

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A NEWPORT man who stole from B&M to pay off a debt to the kind of people “you wouldn’t want to owe money to” has been convicted.

Benjamin Gothard-Smith, of Hunnyhill, appeared before magistrates on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old admitted stealing from a Newport store on April 16.

Prosecutor Rhys Evans told the court Gothard-Smith was seen entering B&M around 11 a.m.

He said he picked out a games console, controller and three headsets worth £165 and walked away without paying.

The court heard that the items had not been recovered.

Mr Evans said Gothard-Smith had 22 previous convictions for 56 offences, and 13 had been robberies and related offences.

Henry Farley, defending, said Gothard-Smith pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had, in the past, had a terrible drug problem.

He said he had been sober for two years but his past had come back to haunt him.

Mr Farley said Gothard-Smith had a debt to pay and, although he did not claim duress or coercion, he owed money to the kind of people you wouldn’t want to owe money to .

He said he was now free of that debt and was not a habitual shoplifter.

The court heard that Gothard-Smith had been diagnosed with bipolar and suffered from ADHD and numerous mental health issues.

He was fined £40 and awarded compensation of £165.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £85 and an additional £34.