Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Serial Bag Snatcher Back on the Streets

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Serial Bag Snatcher Back on the Streets

Article excerpt

He has been a menace to pen-sioners across Tyneside, target-ing 41 elderly victims during a callous career of bag thefts.

But despite his shocking record Stephen Shotton is back on the streets under a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) assessment.

And if probation officers are satisfied they can work with the "professional" crook, he has been promised a non-custodial sentence for his latest heartless offence.

Shotton, high on Valium and methadone after learning of a serious family illness, slipped a purse from a 78-year-old's bag while she was distracted in a North Shields card shop. Although police gave chase, he managed to escape.

But as 37-year-old Shotton had been caught stealing the purse on CCTV, he was later arrested and admitted theft.

"He has a long record of previous convictions going back to juvenile courts," said Penny Moreland, prosecuting at Newcastle Crown Court.

"What is of significance is the number of offences committed against elderly people. …

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