Would-be Mansfield thief used umbrella to disguise himself

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A would-be thief who tried to use an umbrella to hide his face from CCTV in Mansfield town centre has been jailed for 28 days.

Dean Michael Graves (39) of no fixed address admitted that he tried to steal metal elements from an unused fridge at the rear of Nick’s Chippy on West Gate.

Held on remand, he appeared before Mansfield magistrates on Thursday.

The case was outlined by prosecutor Neil Hollett who said that the son of the owner of Nick’s Chippy had been searching through CCTV footage and stumbled across the images of Graves, who had noticed the camera but opened an umbrella to disguise his face. Graves was later identified by police.

The owner’s son also had noticed that one of the cameras had not been working, so went to check it and found it had been taken.

Once arrested, Graves admitted trying to take the piping from the back of the fridge, but failing. However, he denied stealing the CCTV camera.

Defending Matthew Green said the crime had not been sophisticated, his client had struggled with mental health issues and had been self medicating using strong sedative drugs, which explained a previous failure to attend a court hearing.

But having previously given his address as being Babworth Court in Mansfield, he now had nowhere to go, with Mr Green saying: “He has reached the end of his tether, he feels custody is the safest place for him to be.”

The magistrates handed him 14 days’ jail for the attempted theft, and a further 14 days for the previous failure to attend court. The magistrates said the offences had been ‘seriously aggravated’ by his long criminal record.