A Sports Direct packer who stole over £3,000 of goods has narrowly been spared from jail

A Sports Direct packer who was caught stealing over £3,000 worth of designer goods from the firm’s warehouse in Shirebrook has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on September 4 how Lucion Gabriel Ochea, 33, of Gardiner Court, High Street, Mansfield Woodhouse, attempted to smuggle the goods out under his clothes after a work shift.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Prosecuting solicitor Lynn Bickley told a previous hearing that the offence occurred on July 19 when Ochea was working at Sports Direct’s distribution centre in Shirebrook and while attempting to leave after a night shift he attempted to steal eleven designer products worth £3,400.

She added that Ochea was stopped by a security officer and the stolen items were recovered.

Ochea, a Romanian national, admitted taking the items because he liked them and knew he could not afford to them, according to Ms Bickley.

The defendant added that he had smuggled them out one at a time into the toilets and later put them down his trousers and attempted to leave.

Ochea, formerly of Brand Lane, Sutton-in-Ashfield, pleaded guilty to the theft from July 19.

He also admitted failing to comply with a community order - which had been imposed for a previous offence - by failing to attend probation appointments.

The court also dealt with Ochea for the previous offence of theft of shoes which had been subject to the community order.

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Defence solicitor Theo Addae said Ochea is a packer in the factory and he saw the items and hid them under his clothing and tried to leave but was quickly stopped.

Mr Addae added Ochea had been working at Sports Direct in the warehouse as an agency worker and he is disappointed with himself and is remorseful.

Magistrates sentenced Ochea to 16 weeks of custody suspended for 24 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and 250 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay a £122 victim surcharge and £85 costs.