Prolific Peterborough shoplifter given chance to prove he is not a ‘lost cause’

Court news
Court news

A prolific Peterborough shoplifter has been given the chance to prove he is not a ‘lost cause’ - after asking for one more chance to turn his life around.

Benjamin Wells (38) has been convicted of 92 offences of theft or other related offences in the past - but after admitting two more shoplifting offences at Peterborough Crown Court, he was given the opportunity to turn his life around.

He appeared at the court yesterday, where Steven Mould, prosecuting, told the court Wells had gone into the Co-op in Mayor’s Walk in Peterboorough and stole food worth £128 on November 19.

Just a couple of weeks later he walked into the B&M store in Boongate, stealing alcohol, socks and food worth £99.

On both occasions he was recognised on CCTV,

When he was arrested for the second offence, he was taken to Thorpe Wood Police Station, where he shouted abuse at an Indian police officer.

Wells, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to two counts of shoplifting, two counts of breaching a criminal behaviour order - which was imposed last year in an attempt to stop him shoplifting - and one count of using racially or religiously aggravated words.

Claire Matthews, defending, said Wells was working well with Aspire - an organisation helping drug addicts with their addictions - and the shoplifting offences were not pre planned, and the items were of low value.

Wells himself then stood up and took the unusual step of addressing Judge Sean Enright from the dock - after Miss Matthews said he had written a letter.

Wells said he was sorry, and added: “I am not a lost cause.

“Prison does not work for me. It is full of drugs and people want to get you in debt.

“I ask for one chance of a deferred sentence. My head has not been this clear for a long time.

“I want to prove to myself and my family that I am not a lost cause.”
Miss Matthews told the court Wells had given four clean drug tests, and had set himself a number of goals, including to find settled accommodation, and to continue to tackle his drug problem.

Judge Enright gave Wells a 28 day jail sentence for the abuse of the police officer, but deferred sentence on the other offences until April 19, warning Wells ‘Do not reoffend.’