Suspended prison term for knife theft man

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A BELPER man who stole a knife from a hardware shop is serving a suspended prison sentence.

Frank O’Neill, owner of Frank’s Warehouse, in Wall Street, Ripley, was warned by a customer to keep an eye on Mark Edwards.

Magistrates at Chesterfield heard Edwards paid for bolt croppers before leaving the shop on December 1.

Mr O’Neill later checked security film and it showed Edwards had taken three items from display and only put two back.

Helen Griffiths, prosecuting, said he was arrested at home on December 14 and the missing knife was found in his trousers at the police station.

“It was a small folding and locking knife. He couldn’t say whether this came from Frank’s or not,” added Mrs Griffiths.

Edwards, 31, of Marston Close, Belper, admitted theft. He had previous convictions for dishonesty and was already serving a 16-week jail term, suspended for 18 months, imposed at a Derby court earlier this month. His solicitor, David Cusack, said the theft of the knife took place before he received the suspended sentence.

“Drug problems had been ongoing but he is getting a methadone prescription,” said Mr Cusack.

The justices imposed an eight-week jail term, suspended for 18 months, to run alongside his existing sentence, with £85 costs.

Edwards will continue to be supervised by the probation service during the term of the suspended sentence.