Boston man poured ‘acid’ on his own face in fake attack to hide his crime
A man who stole money from his place of work tried to cover his tracks by staging a robbery involving an ‘acid’ attack.
Steve Beeson, 54, was seen on CCTV footage pouring what was described in court as a ‘fake acid’ all over his own face as part of a robbery he staged at New Horizon Amusements in the Market Place, Boston.
Beeson of Ingram Road, Boston was taken to hospital to be checked over before being arrested and charged with theft by employee and wasting police time.
He pleaded guilty to both offences when he appeared at Boston Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard the panic alarm was activated at the arcade at 8.30am on January 24.
When police arrived, Beeson, who was a manager at the business, told them the shop had been robbed and acid had been thrown in his face as he opened up.
Prosecuting, Dan Pietryka said: “Officers found Beeson on the floor complaining that his face was burning and alleging that £3,100 had been stolen.
“There was a bleach bottle on the floor.”
Beeson alleged there had been a knock on the door and when he answered, a man took money from him and threw something in his face.
But CCTV footage showed Beeson pouring fake acid over his own face.
The court heard Beeson was unable to explain why he did what he did.
The incident involved nine police officers and four PCSOs as well as an ambulance crew who took him to hospital.
The court heard Beeson admitted to being ‘heavily in debt’ and that he had received threats to pay money back.
He said he had several payday loans and had been pressured to stage the robbery to get the funds to pay the money back.
The money – which he had stolen a week earlier – had not been recovered.
Beris Brickles, mitigating, said his client was ‘seriously in debt’, partly as a result of his partner having a serious illness which meant they had to travel three times a week to Leicester for treatment.
He said he had taken out loans over a period of time until he had ended up with a payday lender.
He had borrowed £1,500 which had risen to £4,500 with interest and had been assaulted in the past when he couldn’t make a payment.
He said that on the last occasion he had even been shown a photograph of his wife going into Leicester hospital and his son leaving work – as a threat as to what would happen if he didn’t pay.
He said Beeson came up with a scheme to take the money from the float at work and pay £3,100 to the loan sharks and repay it with a genuine loan to be taken out by a relative.
The court heard this loan did not work out so he made up the robbery.
Mr Brickles said Beeson was “very upset and ashamed by what he did” and said he could have taken far more but only took what he needed to get the loan sharks off his back.
He added that he had now started a repayment plan for his £12,000 of debts with help from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Beeson was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to repay the £3,100.