Man sentenced to eight months in jail for stealing hats

REVOLVING DOOR: A repeat shoplifter will remain in jail until November after being caught stealing hats in Orange and razors in Mount Druitt.

REVOLVING DOOR: A repeat shoplifter will remain in jail until November after being caught stealing hats in Orange and razors in Mount Druitt.

A man who was caught and photographed by a shop worker trying to steal two baseball caps from a Summer Street store has been sentenced to a minimum of five months in jail for the crime.

Peter Athol Lawrence Sewell, 40, of Oxley Place pleaded guilty to stealing the hats and was also given concurrent jail sentences for stealing a man’s wallet and other shop lifting offences in April.

Magistrate Alison Viney sentenced Sewell to a total of eight months for the hat theft in Orange Local Court on Tuesday, but he will be eligible for release on parole on November 12.

“With your record it ends up not being about the value of what’s been stolen, it’s that you keep offending, which means you will spend longer and longer in jail,” Ms Viney said.

“I accept you have an underlying drug addiction that you need to address, until you do that, you will be on a revolving door to jail.”

Despite being represented by solicitor Gerry Stapleton, Sewell pleaded with Ms Viney.

“This jail is not helping me, there’s no rehabilitation here,” he said via video link from jail. 

Mr Stapleton said Sewell moved to Orange about a month ago, had an extensive criminal history and the offences were to finance his heroin addiction. 

Sewell was seen by shop employers and set off the store’s anti-theft alarm when he walked out with the baseball caps at 1.10pm on May 17, and was chased down by a female employee who retrieved the hats.

He was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant on June 9 at Cawana Place. 

Sewell was also sentenced to three months in jail for stealing a wallet at Emerton on April 10.

He was given four months in jail for stealing $364 worth of items from a Mount Druitt shopping centre and another four months’ for possessing a stolen bank card on April 18 and one month in jail for failing appear in court on May 18.

Sewell also received a three month jail sentence for stealing $90 worth of razor blades in Emerton on April 9.

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