Bedlington thief swiped 12 packets of Viagra, flowers and baby bottles during crime spree

Darryl Simm, who admitted robbery and shop thefts
-Credit: (Image: Northumbria Police)

An apologetic thief swiped a bunch of flowers, 12 packets of Viagra and baby bottles during a crime spree. Darryl Simm, 29, carried out a series of offences while hooked on drugs, during which he stole a range of goods from shops.

He regularly said sorry to staff for his acts, sometimes saying he needed the items. Now Simm, of Burnside, Bedlington, Northumberland, whose partner had a baby four months ago and is expecting another, has been given a chance to avoid prison by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court after stating he wants to become drug-free.

The court heard on October 7 just after 9pm, he went to a petrol station in Bedlington, Northumberland and asked for a vape and cigarettes worth £32. The woman behind the counter held the items close until he paid and he lunged forward, grabbing her hands to try to prise the valuables free.

The victim was pulled over the counter by the force and ended up letting go due to the pain and minor injury he caused. She said she felt shaken up and was unable to stop thinking about it. Simm admitted robbery in relation to that offence.

On November 3 he stole a bunch of flowers worth £6 from the Co-op in Bedlington. The same day, he stole three packets of Viagra worth £117 from Boots in the same town.

On November 5 he was back at the Co-op and stole toilet rolls. He had been told to stop stealing by a member of staff and replied: "It's a habit, sorry, I can't help it."

The following day he stole four packets of tuna worth £19 from the same shop then went back to Boots and helped himself to six baby bottles worth £54. As he left, he shouted: "Sorry, I really need these."

On November 8 he was back at the Co-op and stole two cans of energy drink, saying "sorry" as he left. The next day he stole three tubs of baby milk and then on November 21 helped himself to alcohol. Finally, on November 25, he stole nine boxes of Viagra worth £221.

The 29-year-old, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to robbery and nine shop thefts. He was sentenced to 13 months suspended for 18 months with a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement and a mental health treatment requirement.

Kate Barnes, defending, said: "The offences occurred while he was under the influence of drugs with a view to getting funds to further purchase drugs. Substance misuse has been an issue for him since the age of 14. He did apologise on a number of occasions and there was no aggression during the shop thefts..

"He has ceased using heroin and is now on methadone. He is not unintelligent and knows what he needs to do. He has a four-month-old son and his partner is expecting another child. He has shown remorse and a degree of insight into his offending."