Security guard Jermaine Horrocks was responsible for apprehending Simmonds, and explained he had become suspicious after Simmonds left the shop only 5 minutes after coming in. ‘Around this time of year you’re not getting out with the smallest thing in less than an hour – and he wasn’t doing what any decent person does when they’re seen in the vicinity and insisting to anyone that could hear him that he’d only come in for the cheap batteries.’
In mitigation, Simmonds, 37, told the court that the shoplifting was not for personal gain, but to give a little seasonal thank you to his brother and his partner who were ‘havin’ a hard time what with me staying with them and all that.’
‘For my brother I was getting a sticky backed plastic loo seat cover with a picture of some dolphins on it. His dream is to go swimming with dolphins before he dies. Not that he’s dying or nothing. I thought pissing with dolphins is the next best thing to swimming with them.’
‘And for Courtney,’ he continued, ‘as she is on a health kick at the moment, I lifted some vapour rub. It says it’s good for chests and I was half hoping she might let me help her put it on. Of course, that’s my dream not hers.’
After pleading guilty to the charge, Simmonds asked for the Brink’s-Mat and Great Train Robberies to be taken into consideration, but when challenged he admitted that he was only trying to ‘big up’ his crime to cover his embarrassment.
Following plea bargaining Simmonds was given a fine of £100 which was cut, for one day only, to a tenner. He was also instructed to repay every penny of the value of the stolen goods to their full worth of £2 and ordered to serve at the till at Poundland for 30 hours. However, on successful appeal this was reduced to six months on the sex offenders wing in Wormwood Scrubs.
20th December 2010