By Joseph Turnbull
A TEAM LEADER at a marketing company stole a woman’s handbag in a Leeds nightclub then got caught trying to return it to her.
Jay Simpson, 25, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
The offence occurred when Simpson left the city centre bar he was in and took the bag with him. He later tried to return the bag back to the victim but was stopped by security guards.
Prosecuting Lucy Chapman told the court the bag was worth £85.
Simpson was already serving a high-level community order for a previous offence, the court heard.
District Judge Mark Watkin was told Simpson’s previous offence was similar to the one heard in court, where he approached four females in a nightclub and took a purse placed on a table.
Defending, Steven Brocklehurst, said: “My defendant has entered a programme to curtail his drinking problems.”
The court was told he was a single father, pays maintenance every week and was “dedicated” to his child.
Simpson’s occupation as a team leader was presented to the court, as a testament to his character.
Mr Brocklehurst stressed Simpson’s apology for the offence and said his client described the theft as “absolutely stupid”.
Simpson pleaded guilty to similar offences in October this year, and November last year. The court heard how the offence was premediated and a degree of planning was involved.
District Judge Watkin said: “You have clearly not learned from your previous offences.
“The fact is, you are very close to spending time inside prison, your crime was dishonest and you caused real distress to the victim.
“It is my feeling, that a time in prison would not help you, I have taken into consideration your responsibilities as father.”
Simpson was given a 12-month community sentence, and ordered to pay £235 costs.
He will also be subject to electronic monitoring and a curfew.
The curfew initially ran from 6am to 6pm, but Simpson informed Mr Brocklehurst that could not be possible as it did not give the defendant adequate time to commute home from work.
After a small discussion in court, the curfew was extended to 7.30pm. The curfew started on November 30 and will be enforced via an electronic tag.