Thief who stole pain relief from Northampton General Hospital and shoplifted Frosty Jack’s faces court while intoxicated

Samuel Johnson's case was not heard until the afternoon, but he went out drinking over lunch.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:36 pm
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 9:05 am

A thief who stole a canister of pain relief from A&E and shoplifted alcohol in the space of 10 days faced the court while intoxicated.

Samuel Johnson, who is currently living in temporary accommodation in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, pleaded guilty to one count of theft from a shop and one count of theft by finding.

The 27-year-old appeared at Northampton Magistrates Court yesterday (January 23).

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Samuel Johnson stole pain relief from Northampton General Hospital.
Samuel Johnson stole pain relief from Northampton General Hospital.

The bench of magistrates could not hear his case until the afternoon and when he did appear before them he was clearly intoxicated.

Defence solicitor, Lisa Collins, said: “When he arrived (today) at 9.30am he clearly had not had a drink. It’s very clear that he has had more than one drink over lunch.”

Johnson was accompanied in court by a friend, who was also intoxicated and was asked to leave the public gallery when he attempted to have a conversation with the defendant while the case was being heard.

Revealing the facts of the case, prosecuting solicitor Stella Moses explained how Johnson took a bottle of Frosty Jack’s and a bottle of Hardy’s wine, to the value of £11.58 from One Stop in Blackthorn Bridge Court on December 21, 2019.

Ms Moses said: “When he was challenged by a security guard, he became verbally aggressive.”

Johnson was on police bail for the shoplifting offence when he offended once again.

On New Year’s Eve last year, he took a canister of Entanox, which is a pain-relieving gas mixture, from the A&E department at Northampton General Hospital and was seen walking onto Billing Road.

Ms Moses added: “Security staff had to follow the defendant. The defendant returned without the canister. It was found in a side street at the back of the hospital and was recovered.

“In a police interview, he answered no comment to all questions.”

Ms Moses also told the court that this was his second breach of the same community order.

In defence, Ms Collins explained that Johnson is alcohol dependent.

She said: “I know how concerned he is about the situation he finds himself in. The underlying problem is alcohol.

“The defendant said he thought the canister would help take the edge off being homeless.

“He was clearly very drunk when he committed these two offences.

“The defendant is very motivated when he is not in a phase of drinking a great deal.”

Chair of the Magistrates bench, Ms Crafurd, sentenced Johnson to an 18-month community order including 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days and charged him £90 as a victim surcharge.

Passing sentence Ms Crafurd said: “The alcohol is obviously at the root of all the offending.

“Do your very best. We do not want to see you again.”

Johnson replied: “Your honour, you will never see me again.”