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Marylebone shoplifter banned from M&S for two years.

PUBLISHED: 10:41 29 November 2010

A MARYLEBONE shoplifter stole more than £800 of food and clothing from Marks and Spencer “in revenge” for being refused a refund, the Old Bailey heard.

Leonard O’Neill, of Gresse Street, became upset every time he saw a branch of M&S because he had been refused a refund on a previous occasion – and decided to take revenge.

The 62-year-old stole more than £800 worth of food and clothing on three separate occasions.

Timothy Pontius QC told the Old Bailey on Tuesday (November 23): “Plainly your shopping must be done elsewhere.”

On May 5 this year O’Neill tried to walk out of a branch in Oxford Street with £197.60 worth of food, but was caught by a security guard. Then, while on bail, he took five shirts and six ties, worth £314.50, from a store in Fenchurch Street, in the City, but was again caught.

O’Neill also stole more clothing on November 15, this time worth £388, from the M&S branch in Westminster, for which he was fined £300 at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

He was sentenced to 10 months in jail on Tuesday for the two other offences, which was suspended for two years.

O’Neill has a lengthy criminal record, but has barely been before the court since 1988.

Judge Pontius said he was baffled as to why O’Neill had decided to offend again.

But as he was sentenced, the shoplifter asked to speak to the judge and revealed: “I had a problem with Marks and Spencer a few months ago.

“I bought some shirts for my family when the sale was on and I wanted to get a refund but I didn’t have my receipt and it came up on the till and I lost my money.

“I was very upset about it. I saved my money up especially for my family and I got very upset. Every time I saw Marks and Spencer I got upset.”

Judge Pontius placed a restriction order on O’Neill banning him from the chain for two years.

“I understand you had a grudge against Marks and Spencer and that’s why these offences were committed and I hope that’s the end of it and you have worked that grudge off,” he added.

To which O’Neill, replied: “Thank you very much your honour, for giving me a chance.”


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