doc

A TEENAGER who stole alcohol from a supermarket a few months after being put on a suspended sentence for a violent attack is now behind bars.

Christopher Saunders was given a chance last year after admitting he was ‘trying to act the hard man’ when he punched a 16-year-old boy his friend was trying to rob.

Swindon Crown Court heard the 19-year-old had not taken the suspended sentence seriously as he repeatedly skipped community service.

Judge Douglas Field told him there was no alternative but to activate the 10-month suspended jail term that was imposed in June last year.

Jeremy Wright, prosecuting, said on Saturday, November 30, last year Saunders went to the Co-op in Eldene with a group of friends.

While they waited outside he went in and picked up about £25 worth of alcoholic drink and ran out with it.

Although he got away he was later arrested after the incident was caught on the supermarket’s CCTV system.

Meanwhile the teenager was repeatedly missing appointments with the probation service and not carrying out the unpaid work part of the suspended sentence.

He was first found to be in breach last autumn and had 14 hours added to the 120 he was told to complete.

But he failed to turn up on two more occasions in February and the probation service sent him back to court again as he still had 58 hours left to complete.

Saunders, of Ainsworth Road, Park South, admitted theft and being in breach of the suspended sentence.

Mike Pulsford, defending, said his client plainly did not think through his actions in advance and needed help for that.

“He was given a chance with a suspended sentence. He completed the curfew,” he said.

He said he was just three minutes late for one of the appointments in February because he had not got up in time.

Judge Douglas Field said: “On June 21 last year you were made subject of a suspended sentence, the term of imprisonment was 10 months. The requirements were that you be under supervision and curfew for three months and 120 hours of unpaid work. You are in breach of that order in two respects.

“Firstly you are in breach for a second time with regard to unpaid work and now you have committed an offence of dishonesty, going in to a shop and helping yourself to £25 of drink.

“The report suggests you have not taken this order seriously. There is no alternative, the suspended sentence is going to be put in operation.

“You are now going in to custody for 10 months in respect of the suspended sentence and 21 days concurrent in respect of the shoplifting offence.”

Saunders received the suspended sentence after admitting a charge of attempted robbery on a 16-year-old.

He landed a heavy blow on the youngster after he and his accomplice had tried to lure him up an alleyway on Corporation Street so they could steal his phone.