Cash-strapped man tried to steal Christmas gifts

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NEWS: News.
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A MAN who walked into a Sheffield Tesco store and tried to steal four games consoles because he had no money to buy Christmas presents has escaped an immediate jail term.

Anthony Kalsey, aged 46, was described as having an ‘unenviable record’ by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court after it emerged he had 73 previous convictions for fraud and 53 for theft.

The court heard on December 20 last year, he and another man were at Tesco in Savile Street, near the city centre, when they put four Nintendo games consoles worth £720 into a trolley and wheeled them to a checkout.

Chris Neale, prosecuting, said Kalsey walked through the checkout without paying for the items and stuffed them into a rucksack, before trying to leave the store.

When his accomplice was asked for cash, he said he did not have any money and Kalsey was paying.

Mr Neale said Kalsey went down the escalator but when he saw security staff approaching he got off and went back up the other side and back towards the store.

He was stopped by security staff and the police were called.

Mr Neale said at the time Kalsey, of Franks Lane, Cambridge, was the subject of a suspended jail sentence.

Kalsey, who spent two weeks on remand waiting for his court appearance, pleaded guilty to theft.

He told police he didn’t have any money to go Christmas shopping because his partner looked after his financial affairs due to his gambling habit.

His previous convictions were the result of a drugs habit which he kicked 10 years ago.

He said his friend came up with the plan and he went along with it.

Sentencing him Recorder Michael Hubbard QC said: “You’ve already served the equivalent of a one-month sentence and I take the view that’s sufficient.”

He extended Kalsey’s suspended jail term from six to 18 months and made Kalsey the subject of a curfew for three months from 7pm until 7am.