A shoplifter who stole steaks from a Tesco store has been prosecuted thanks to an appeal published in a weekly newspaper.
The Horncastle News published a CCTV image after a man was seen stealing six packs of beef steak from the supermarket on 12 February.
Following the newspaper’s appeal for information, Geoffrey Francis Finlow, 29, then of North Street, Horncastle but now at an address in Louth, was identified and arrested.
He admitted stealing the steaks when he appeared at Skegness Magistrates Court last week, when the paper was praised for publishing his image.
Content editor John Fieldhouse told HTFP: “We were given the image by the police and obviously it led to the identification of the offender.
“We work closely with the police and have excellent links with them. This is the first time we have been praised in court.
“I think it shows how a really small provincial paper can help with this sort of thing. It is good old-fashioned journalism.”
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said Finlow went into the Tesco store, put the steaks into a carrier bag and ran out of the store without paying, pursued by staff.
The paper reported that he escaped by wading through waist-high water in the stream alongside the supermarket car park but his image had been captured on CCTV and was published in the Horncastle News.
In mitigation, Andrew Goldsborough said Finlow, who was said to be a recovering heroin addict, had been given a community order earlier in July for other offences committed since this one.
Deputy District Judge Hallsworth imposed a 12-month conditional discharge on him and ordered Finlow to pay costs and compensation totalling £130.