Lidl steaks stolen by addict with 90 previous offences to fund drug habit

Lidl store

A man stole four steaks from the shop to fund his drug addiction

Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 15/11/2023

- 13:15

Updated: 15/11/2023

- 13:25

Darren Wrighton was a recovering drug addict

A man from Burnley has stolen steaks from Lidl to help fund his drug habit.

Darren Wrighton, who has 90 previous offences, recently relapsed after an eight-year break from drugs.

Wrighton, 42, pled guilty in front of Black Magistrates’ Court to stealing £37.76 worth of steaks from Lidl on August 17.

The 42-year-old was fined £40 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £114 victim surcharge.

Shelves with meat in a shop

He made no effort to pay for the items from the store in Colne Road (not pictured)


Prior to the incident, Wrighton was drug free, having been a member of Inspire, a drink and drug agency.

Prosecution Susheela Regala said Wrighton tried to conceal the steaks under his jacket as he left the store.

He made no effort to pay for the items from the store in Colne Road, Regala told the court.

Wrighton was detained and arrested at the scene.


He had been convicted 51 times for his past offences.

His lawyer, Mark Williams, said the incident had been a “one-off”.

“That might be surprising with a background of 90 previous offences but the last of those was in 2015,” said Williams.

Since the offence in August, Wrighton was back on a methadone prescription and attending sessions at Inspire.

Lidl staff have been forced to wear bodycams to tackle the sharp rise in shoplifting.

An image of a Lidl supermarket store in Chichester, Wessex Sussex

Lidl has spent £2million on bodycams due to the rise in shoplifting


The bargain supermarket has had to spend £2 million on body cams for staff to combat violence against them, as well as an increasing number of shoplifters.

Recent figures show that shoplifting had increased by a quarter in just 12 months.

The bodycam rollout is set to be completed by spring next year.

Ryan McDonnell, chief executive at Lidl GB, said: “Safety and security has always been an absolute priority for us.

“While our stores are typically safe environments, retail crime is something that is impacting the whole industry.

“Our investment into ensuring all our stores have body-worn cameras is just one of the ways we're taking action to protect and provide reassurance to our colleagues and customers.”

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