A man banned from every Toys R Us store after the chain’s collapse has been sentenced after stealing from the Birstall branch.
Jason Williams had denied taking Lego valued at £129 from the Birstall Shopping Park store on December 17 last year.
He was seen acting suspiciously by a security guard, abandoning his trolley in the middle of an aisle before selecting a second trolley.
The 45-year-old filled this with toys and then attempted to pass the tills without paying.
He pleaded not guilty to the offence of shoplifting, claiming that he changed his trolley because the first one had a wobbly wheel.
Williams claimed that he did attempt to pay for the Lego but there was an error with his credit card.
This was despite the fact that the toy shop shut down days later following the company’s collapse into administration.
Williams, of Austhorpe Road in Leeds, had been due to stand trial last week at the Huddersfield court.
He failed to show and the case was proved in his absence. A warrant was then issued for his arrest when District Judge Michael Fanning decided that a sick note submitted to the court was not acceptable.
Prosecutor Andy Dinning said that the stolen goods were returned to the store in a saleable condition.
Magistrates were told that Williams, who had 126 convictions to his name, tested positive for the misuse of Class A drugs following his arrest.
His solicitor Sonia Kidd said: “He’s adamant that he did not go to steal and tried to pay for the items.
“His card didn’t work and he was having difficulty with the trolley and transferred items from one into the other.
“But he was not at court to put forward and explanation.”
Mrs Kidd added that the reason Williams missed his trial was because, after being hospitalised for six weeks, he suffered from difficulties walking and standing.
She said that his doctor issued a sick note but this only stated that he was not fit for work and didn’t say anything about court.
Magistrates sentenced him to an eight week curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am.
He must pay £300 towards prosecution costs plus £85 victim surcharge.