A PICKPOCKET will be unable to raid other people’s bags in nightspots until next Spring, York Crown Court heard.

Peter Philip Schofield, 30, was caught red-handed lifting purses and ID cards at Popworld in the early hours of September 23. He was given a six-month nightly curfew from 8pm to 7pm.

He is also subject to a ten-month prison sentence suspended on condition he does a rehabilitation course and 200 hours’ unpaid work. The sentence was passed two months after the bag thefts in Popworld.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC heard how Schofield stole purses, money, phones and ID cards from six handbags in the George Hudson Street nightspot on September 23 last year.

But victim after victim quickly realised what he had done, alerted door staff who detained Schofield and searched him. On him, they found several items he had stolen, as well as £89 in cash they believed he had taken from the stolen purses they found empty and discarded behind a radiator.

Schofield, of no fixed address, denied six charges of theft and one of having criminal money, but was convicted by York magistrates and sent to the crown court for sentence last March.

Judge Stubbs adjourned sentence for six months so that Schofield could save up money to recompense his victims and carry out the conditions of the suspended sentence.

On his return to court, the judge heard Schofield had not saved any money, had not done the unpaid work and had not done the rehabilitation course he had been ordered to do.

But defence barrister Nicholas de la Poer said Schofield had been ill and had lost his job when his employer learnt about his court case.

The judge said he wouldn’t punish Schofield for matters that were not his fault. He ordered the money taken from Schofield when he was arrested would be used to compensate three of the victims.

It was the second time Schofield appeared before the court for not doing his punishment. At the March hearing, his then barrister Elizabeth Fry said he hadn’t done the rehabilitative course or done the unpaid work because he had been helping his mother, who has mobility problems, and he had been putting his employment first.