A "HOPELESS" thief has been given a chance to prove himself after he was caught out for lying to a Judge.

Oliver Ryan, of Cambridge Road in Ellesmere Port, appeared at Mold Crown Court for sentence on Friday.

The 42-year-old had previously been convicted of five offences of theft from a shop.

Ember-Jade Wong, prosecuting, told the court that on April 9 this year, a store detective in Ellesmere Port's M&S store was alerted to an incident of theft.

Ryan had selected numerous bottles of spirits and concealed them in his coat before leaving with them.

He was escorted back into the store, where it was discovered he's taken steps to bypass the security tags on the bottles.

When CCTV was checked, it was found he'd entered the store and stolen spirits on four previous occasions, with the items taken totalling £210.

The thefts put him in breach of a suspended sentence, imposed in Mold for drugs offences in April 2021.

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Since receiving the suspended sentence, he has undertaken no court ordered rehabilitation activity sessions, and completed just one hour of unpaid work.

Andrew Green, defending, told the court: "The defendant stands on the precipice of his first custodial sentence.

"It is a pitiful picture of a life ruined by addiction. He is seeking support and doesn't deny he is still an addict."

The court heard the defendant was meant to have appeared at Mold Crown Court earlier in the week, but was "unwell" and didn't attend.

On the subject of evidence of this illness, he claimed to have booked a telephone appointment with his GP, which was scheduled to take place on the afternoon of his Friday court hearing.

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Judge Niclas Parry was suspicious of the claim, and stood the matter down over lunch for checks to be made with his doctor's office.

Following the lunch break, Mr Green restarted the hearing by telling the Judge: "Your Honour's scepticism was well founded - there is no appointment on their records.

"Mr Ryan maintains he did make the call."

He described his client as a "hopeless addict" and invited the Judge to give him a chance to prove himself, with Ryan having gained employment and engaging with support for his drug addiction.

Judge Parry said: "Mr Ryan, you lied to me this morning. It's as simple as that.

"I'm not the mug you thought I was."

The defendant responded: "I didn't think that at all."

"You did," the Judge told him, "and whenever you appear in front of me, I won't forget that."

After questioning Ryan about his work, the Judge opted to defer the sentence to July 29 with several expectations in the intervening period.

Those include no further offences, 56 hours of unpaid work completed on his ongoing suspended sentence, five rehabilitation sessions from the ongoing sentence and evidence he was paid a salary prior to this week's court hearing.

"If any of those are not completed," the Judge told him, "the inevitable custodial sentence will follow."

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