Lincoln serial shoplifter sent to young offenders institution

A serial shoplifter who was caught after stealing a £300 drone aircraft from an electrical store in Lincoln has been sentenced to 54 weeks in a young offenders institution.

Joshua Cutter, 20, was spotted running in to a waiting car after snatching the drone model plane from Maplin at St Marks shopping centre in the city.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Cutter carried out the “highly planned theft” less than a month after he was spared custody for a police chase around Grimsby.

Cutter was given a 28-week suspended custodial sentence at Grimsby Crown Court on April 28 after he admitted a string of offences including dangerous driving, taking a van without consent, failing to stop for police, making off without paying for petrol, and having no insurance and licence.

But just three weeks after appearing in court Cutter was linked to the theft of the drone in Lincoln after staff took down the registration details of the car he was seen escaping in before it sped off.

Noel Phylo, prosecuting, said: “It was clearly a carefully planned activity with more than one person involved.”

The court heard Cutter was also arrested for stealing seven bottles of washing-up liquid from a garage and ten razors valued at £216.99 from a supermarket.

Mr Phylo added: “It is perfectly clear he just ignored the order made on him at Grimsby Crown Court.”

Graham Huston, mitigating, told the court both of Cutter’s parents were drug addicts and he was used by older criminals to get money for heroin.

Cutter had previously admitted driving off without paying for diesel valued at £115.23 and £67.58 from petrol stations in the Grimsby area on March 24.

“He has the choice between two chaotic parents,” Mr Huston added.

Police signalled for him to stop on March 25 but he sped away, making sharp turns and driving on the wrong side of the road. He continued at speed in narrow residential roads and failed to stop, showing no concern for other road users.

He ignored a “no entry” sign and continued at speed in Abbey Road East, Grimsby, and went the wrong way down a one-way street. The car hurtled across grass at Ainslie Street recreation ground before coming to a stop. Cutter got out of the van and ran off and was told to stop. He did so and was arrested in Gas Alley.

Cutter, formerly of Grimsby, but now of Birchwood Avenue, Lincoln, admitted breaching the suspended sentence passed at Grimsby Crown Court and three offences of theft in Lincoln between May 17 and June 8.

Judge Michael Heath sentenced Cutter to 26 months in a young offenders institution for the shop thefts to run consecutive to 28 weeks custody for the Grimsby offences.

Passing sentence Judge Heath told Cutter: “It has to be made plain to you that if you continue to offend you will go to prison for longer and longer periods.”