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Shoplifter is youth mentor and town centre barman

“I should have just taken a step back – I really didn’t want to end up back in a courtroom" - defendant

John Garvey

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A youth mentor and town centre barman has been exposed as a serial shoplifter.

Father-of-two Philip Raymond Griffith stole electrical goods on several occasions, Reading magistrates heard.

But when the 38-year-old, of Ham Villas, Gordon Road, Newbury, took them into CeX in the town’s Kennet Centre and tried to sell them on, staff became suspicious, the court was told.

Maddy Charlesworth, prosecuting on Tuesday, May 9, said: “They soon realised these were stolen items and refused to deal with him any further. These were fairly high value electrical items.”

Mr Griffith admitted stealing goods worth £364.95 from Maplin in Northbrook Street, stealing a Sony speaker worth £69.99 from nearby Boots and stealing a laptop worth £79.99, also from Maplins.

All the offences were committed between December 28 last year and January 23.

Mr Griffith also has seven previous convictions for theft, the court heard, although these were at least seven years old.

A probation officer said Mr Griffith had two part time jobs – as a youth mentor and as an evening barman in Newbury town centre.

She added: “He can’t explain why he did it and knows he should not have done. He and his partner had some difficulties around Christmas and the new year and both were struggling financially.

“The money would have gone on food and nappies and so on for his family.”

The court heard Mr Griffith was currently studying for a degree in health and social science and was greatly concerned about the effect his recent convictions would have on his current and future employment prospects.

He told magistrates: “I would like to apologise for my actions. I’ve tried very hard to step away from a certain lifestyle. I’ve been trying to do the right thing.

“I should have just taken a step back – I really didn’t want to end up back in a courtroom.”

Magistrates made Mr Griffith subject to a 12 month community order with 80 hours’ unpaid community work requirement.

In addition he was ordered to carry out 10 days rehabilitation activity requirement and to pay the stores a total of £514.93 in compensation.

Finally Mr Griffith was ordered to pay a statutory victim services surcharge of £85. No order was made for costs.

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