Homeless drug addict appears in court following thefts from Brighton stores

A homeless drug addict from Brighton appeared in court today after repeatedly stealing perfume from the local Boots store.

Elliott Cahill, 25, who had no fixed address, pleaded guilty at Brighton Magistrates’ Court to three thefts from Boots on North Street and stealing Apple TV units from Apple in Churchill Square.

After he was brought into court, the magistrates refused a prosecution application that Cahill, brought in handcuffs into the secure dock wearing grey jeans, a dark grey hoodie and flip-flop shoes should remain so throughout the hearing.

James Mayfield, prosecuting, said that Mr Cahill was seen acting suspiciously in the Apple store. And when he was approached by a member of staff who shouted “excuse me”, Mr Cahill ran away.

As he was fleeing the store he dropped one of the Apple TV devices which he had taken and this was taken back to the store, however it was damaged and could not be resold.

The court heard that CCTV from Boots had also recorded Mr Cahill returning to a particular fragrance stand in the store on North Street. The magistrates also learnt that the defendant had stolen £470 worth of perfume on three separate occasions within a day, showing little or no intention to pay.

Mr Cahill has 30 previous offences, the majority of which are for shoplifting. The prosecution requested compensation for the amount of £808 to cover damaged and stolen perfumes and the loss of one TV units and a damaged console that was recovered.

Martin Anson, the defendants defence lawyer, said: “Cahill has a serious heroin addiction” and that this should be tackled with a suspended sentence to allow time to targeted his drug abuse, along with some other relevant sanctions.

He continued: “Mr Cahill is aware that he cannot continue committing these offences.”

The hearing was adjourned until the afternoon so that probation officers could assess Mr Cahill’s suitability for drug rehabilitation treatment via a suspended sentence.

Redevelopment of the Trafalgar Arches

The Trafalgar Arches, situated just below Brighton Station, according to recent development plans and the closure of the small market, are set for a dramatic facelift.

With rumours amongst locals, it looks like it’s the next area of redevelopment which has been targeted by Network Rail – including it in the  long term redevelopment plans of the popular North Laine trading area.

December 2014 saw the opening of a small market of stalls at this site run by Brighton and Hove locals and traders alike. However, in July 2015 the Trafalgar Arches Facebook page announced that they were under a four week notice period, asking them to vacate the plot with no further information.

While there was no long term lease, common thought amongst traders was that Network Rail would look positively on the use of the land and the traders running the stalls, giving them a reprieve.

Details of the planned development are still unavailable and the future of the area is under constant local discussion about what any major change and development might mean to them and their businesses.

Local entrepreneur Tom Mold, of Coffee@33 on Trafalgar Street, spoke of the situation: “Brighton’s growth, with regard to its food and beverage culture, seems to be exponential and the demand for new places to eat and drink doesn’t look like its slowing up.”

He is amongst many who believe the North Laine area is set to grow and develop even more providing a vast selection or eateries for every pocket and food preference.

On the closing of the market, which had been well supported by a growing number of independent trades, Mr Mold added: “I think the Trafalgar Arches Market was a missed opportunity.”

Paul Sievewright, owner of Green Door Store, 2-4 Trafalgar Arches, said: “Any development of this area is a good thing bringing what has been a ‘dead’ area of the North Laine with a history of drink and drugs, to life.”

For the North Laine community they can only hope that the plans Network Rail have for this particular site, that it brings more visitors to the area to shop in its many and varied independent shops.

No comment from Network Rail has been given and plans are yet to be announced.