Drug addict pleads guilty to stealing £3,000 from St Albans pub

PUBLISHED: 18:16 14 July 2015 | UPDATED: 08:56 15 July 2015

The Cock Inn, St Albans, courtesy of Ella Crockett

The Cock Inn, St Albans, courtesy of Ella Crockett

Archant

A 43-year-old drug addict has pleaded guilty to stealing £3,000 from a pub in broad daylight.

Hugh Docherty, who is currently living with family in Cotlandswick, London Colney, made the ‘spur of the moment’ decision at 11.30am on June 29 to take the money from a desk in an office at The Cock Inn in St Peter’s Street, St Albans, after allegedly stealing a wallet from a private office earlier that morning.

The father of seven was on bail for two other theft offences in Watford and Northwood - to which he had pleaded guilty - when he entered the The Cock’s office on June 29 and stole £3,000 in cash.

Docherty then ran away and a member of staff chased him down Hatfield Road before he was eventually stopped and the money recovered.

He was later arrested and charged with two counts of theft, having allegedly already gone into an office in Victor House, London Colney, at 10.20am and stolen a wallet. An emotional Docherty pleaded guilty to the charge of burglary at The Cock but denied stealing a wallet at the office in London Colney.

The court was told that Docherty was homeless at the time of the offences. He spent over £100 per day on heroin and crack cocaine and was ‘going out of his mind’ when he made the decision to burgle The Cock Inn.

Docherty, who appeared via video link in floods of tears, said: “I’m drug dependent. I’m really, really sorry. Please may God forgive me. I’m not saying this because I’m in custody, I’m saying because I’m really sorry. It’s the drugs, the drugs. I’m so sorry I can’t believe I have done this, I’m sorry.”

Mr Kalari, defending, said Docherty was suffering from depression and anxiety as a result of separating from his wife and rarely seeing his children. He had a history of theft and alcoholism.

He added: “He needs help moving forward, he has been homeless for quite a while. It does not excuse what he has done, but you can see how remorseful he is.

“No money, no home, and a very expensive drug habit.”

The sentencing has been adjourned for reports until July 27.

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