Seaton thief tells shop staff 'Give it 10 minutes'

PUBLISHED: 11:46 10 March 2010 | UPDATED: 01:01 16 June 2010

A MAN has been ordered to pay £500 and handed a conditional discharge for stealing cash and cigarettes from a Seaton shop.

A MAN has been ordered to pay £500 and handed a conditional discharge for stealing cash and cigarettes from a Seaton shop.

Lee Brian Laffey, of Kingsbury, London, entered a guilty plea at Central Devon Magistrates' Court to stealing cash and cigarettes from Seaton Spar Stores and Post Office last July

David Barnes, prosecuting, said a man was working at the store at the time the 35-year-old committed the offence who he knew. Mr Barnes told the court Laffey asked him to open the till.

Mr Barnes added: "Laffey said he wanted to get some of his change swapped for notes, leaned over the counter, put his hands into the till and took a fistful of notes."

The court heard how Laffey had spoken throughout to the shop's employee without any challenge.

Before he left the building, he told the worker to "give it 10 minutes and then call the police and say you have been robbed", a request which he agreed to.

Mr Barnes said it became unclear during the investigation how much cash Laffey had taken, though, he stole "a reasonable value of cigarettes because they were in boxes".

Defending, James Taghdissian said the shop worker, speaking to police, stated he was robbed by two men wearing hoodies.

Mr James Taghdissian said: "The defendant was arrested some months later. He claimed he had been owed some cash from the employee amounting to around £300."

The court heard Laffey expects to start work soon in the Seaton area.

Chairman of the bench, Mrs Susan Lloyd, said: "This was, on the face of it, a very stupid action and an irresponsible one in not just what you did, but is seems you persuaded someone else to help you."

Laffey was given a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered to pay £300 compen-sation to the shop and £200 costs.


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