A MAN who stole more than £2,000 worth of designer glasses to pay debts after his businesses collapsed must follow a curfew.
Patrick Barrett, 46, from Liverpool, stole nine pairs of designer glasses worth £2,241 from Boots on Foregate Street, Chester, on two separate occasions on July 18.
He pleaded guilty on the day of trial at West Cheshire Magistrates Court.
The court heard Barrett entered the Foregate Street shop and put five pairs of glasses into his coat from the display, walking out of the store and making no attempt to pay.
He then returned 10 minutes later and stole four more pairs of glasses in the same way.
Carolyn Viviani, prosecuting, said Barrett was arrested after coming back to the store on August 1, being recognised by security staff who called the police.
Ms Viviani said Barrett had previous convictions but none for similar offences for more than 10 years. All the stock was recovered.
Defending, Becky Hay, said Barrett’s life had changed significantly in the past few years after being diagnosed with bowel cancer. This meant he had to give up his two flooring businesses.
She said Barrett was diagnosed with Barrett’s Oesophagus, a pre-cursor to oesophageal cancer which causes longstanding heartburn and pain when eating.
This meant he could no longer work.
Miss Hay called Barrett a “hard-working man” who had fallen on hard times. He chose to steal the glasses to pay off his debts from closing his businesses and to “keep his family going”. She said he looks after his mother, who is in ill health.
Magistrates imposed an eight-week curfew on Barrett between 7pm and 7am as he was unfit to carry out unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £300 and a victim surcharge of £60.
See full story in the Chester Leader