Nelson man got sucked in to repeat vacuum thefts, court hears

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A thief who stole a Vax vacuum from Morrisons got away with it - and then went back to do it three more times, every other day, a court heard.

Convicted robber Stephen Lee Meakin (31) took the first £80 cleaner on November 3rd and then struck again on the 5th and 7th.

He was finally caught on November 9th and that vacuum was recovered.

Burnley magistrates were told how Meakin, who struck at the Nelson branch of the store, had had his benefits stopped for several weeks.

The defendant, who has a long record and who was sent to jail for 54 months for robbery in 2011, admitted four counts of theft.

He was given a three month curfew, between 8pm and 8am and must pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Mr Glen Smith, in mitigation for Meakin, of Fir Street, Nelson, said he had had his benefits stopped for several weeks, effectively leaving him without any means of support. He reverted, perhaps, to how he behaved some years ago.

Mr Smith said: “He simply had nowhere else to go. He tried various ways of resolving his financial plight but these were all unsuccessful.”

“It was more of an aberration than a return to his dishonest ways. He felt he was getting away with it and appears to have been encouraged by the first occasion.”

District Judge Meirion Lewis-Jones told the defendant: “I bet you couldn’t believe your luck how easy it was to take that vacuum cleaner, then you went back and got another one and another one and eventually you were caught.”