Man stole over £100 of booze to feed craving

A RECOVERING alcoholic who fell off the wagon over a lost love stole to feed his renewed craving for drink, a court was told.

Harrogate magistrates heard how Charles James Rudd, 29, had targeted a Ripon supermarket twice in a month and another store in the city in between to steal wine and lager worth over £100.

When Rudd, of Linden Lea, Burton Leonard, near Ripon, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, prosecutor Sam Rogers said he had been identified as the culprit by a study of CCTV footage and had told police he had stolen because he had an alcohol problem. He had a long record of dishonesty.

In mitigation Clive Farndon said Rudd had not been in trouble with the law for two years. After complying with a court-imposed community order, which included an alcohol treatment programme, he had gone voluntarily to the Harrogate Alcohol and Drugs Agency and to Alcoholics Anonymous.

As a result he had been alcohol-free for a considerable time and by last June he had found work as a business development officer, was in a stable long-term relationship and was not drinking.

But, said Mr Farndon, early in November Rudd’s relationship ended and his reaction had been to seek solace in alcohol. He began drinking heavily again and as a result lost his job

‘‘He found himself back in a situation where he just needed to obtain alcohol, and that is quite simply why he committed these offences.’’

Court chairman Eric Fell told Rudd he was to be commended for the steps he had taken voluntarily to get help with his problem and advised him to take the same actions again.

Rudd was made subject to a one-year community order with probation supervision and an alcohol treatment requirement. Costs of £85 and compensation of £41.67 were also imposed.