Man ‘stole for a dare’

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A MAN who stole after an old school friend issued him with a ‘‘dare’’ found Harrogate magistrates readily agreeing with his contention that he had been stupid.

Ian Maesepp, 23, of East Park Road, Spofforth, appeared before the court last Thursday accused of stealing a £3 box of wine gums from the Asda supermarket in Bower Road, Harrogate, on December 10. Prosecutor Martin Butterworth said security officers watching customers on CCTV saw Maesepp pick up the sweets close to the exit and walk off with them. Police were called and arrested him nearby and when he was searched he still had the gums in his possession.

Mr Butterworth said during interview Maesepp told officers he had stolen after bumping into a friend from his schooldays who had dared him to do it.

When Maesepp, who was not legally represented, pleaded guilty to theft he blamed drink for the offence and told court chairman Lindsay Addyman: ‘‘I am just really sorry for my stupidity.’’

Ordering a six-month conditional discharge and £85 costs, Mrs Addyman commented: ‘‘We have to agree with you, it really was very stupid. ’’