Shoplifter given chance to avoid two years in jail

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A drug-using shoplifter has been warned he faces up to two years in jail.

Andrew Fenton appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday to be sentenced for a crime spree that started on December 20 and finished on June 2.

In the space of seven months he targeted the Co-op in Carron; Next, Boots and TK Maxx in Falkirk’s Central Retail Park; Wilko and Boots in Falkirk High Street and Tesco in Camelon, stealing alcohol, shoes, cosmetics, electronic items, clothing and razor blades.

The 26-year-old from 59 Sunnyside Street, Camelon, also threatened staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert on February 2 and broke into commercial premises in Williamson Street, Falkirk, on April 25 with intent to steal.

Fenton appeared from custody and defence lawyer Martin Morrow said that, while on remand, he had been receiving treatment for his drug issues.

Sheriff John Mundy said the number of offences Fenton had been convicted of amounted to around two years’ jail, but then told him he did not want to do that – for now.

Instead, he adjourned the case until July 20 to allow Fenton to be assessed by social workers to see if he is a suitable candidate for a drug treatment order. He released him on bail until that date, but imposed a 7pm to 7am curfew.

At the same court a teenager was fined £300 for sending an abusive message to a man on Facebook.

The court was told 18-year-old Luke Mason’s target was the father of a girl he knew.

Defence lawyer Andy Bryson said: “The man went to visit Mason’s partner. It was not expected and completely out of the blue and left him angry so he fired off an abusive message on Facebook and now regrets that. He has mental health issues.”

Sheriff Mundy told Mason, from 44 Main Street, Bainsford: “It’s very easy for people to hide behind a keyboard and send messages like this that cause distress.”

He ordered Mason to pay the fine at the rate of £15 a fortnight from his benefits.