Man branded ‘stupid’ for stealing teddy bear

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A self-confessed alcoholic stole a teddy bear from a van driver after downing NINE litres of cider.

Vincent Costello drunkenly snatched a large pink teddy bear from a Mercedes Sprinter van parked up on Ormskirk Street on May 19 when the driver nipped into a nearby takeaway.

St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how the defendant, 37, then tried to conceal the mascot in his coat when the driver returned to his vehicle.

Angela Blackmore, prosecuting, told how the driver confronted Costello and snatched the mascot back before calling the police when he realised that the rear doors of his van had been tampered with.

Town centre CCTV operators then helped officers track the defendant as he staggered through St Helens, struggling to walk.

After Costello was arrested - and given time to sober up - he told police he had been drinking all day and had downed the staggering quantity of cider.

He admitted he was an alcoholic and needed help and told officers he had drunkenly planned to put the teddy bear on top of his television.

Costello’s defence solicitor described the theft as “opportunistic” and asked for his client to be given credit for his admissions in interview and early guilty plea.

He argued that Costello, of North Road, deserved another chance because “it was just stupidity”.

Magistrates handed Costello a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £85 costs.