Thief admits stealing £1,000 of candles

GUILTY: Gardner appeared before magistrates
GUILTY: Gardner appeared before magistrates

A THIEF who struck at a family run garden centre and stole nearly £1,000 of candles in 14 months has been brought to justice nearly two years later - after being caught stealing the same thing at the same store.

Neil Birchall, of Fairholme Avenue, Prescot, Merseyside, admitted stealing £571 of Yankee branded candles on March 16 this year from the Birkacre Nursery in Birkacre Road, Chorley.

After being caught the 44-year-old also pleaded guilty to stealing a further £339.98 of candles belonging to the nursery on December 31, 2014.

The bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court imposed 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, supervision, and a rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also ordered him to pay compensation of £910.72 and an £80 victim surcharge.

The bench said he was already subject to a community order which made the offences more serious.