AN alleged shoplifter claims he was not one of two men who tried to wheel a trolley with £265 worth of goods from a store, without paying.

Francis Crookston, 48, of Shaftesbury Street, Stockton, denies theft of the groceries, from Asda, in Bishop Auckland, on February 7 this year.

He also denies assaulting an emergency worker, for allegedly spitting at a police officer following his arrest.

The case, at Durham Crown Court, sitting in Newcastle, was adjourned for a trial in the week of September 29 this year, by which time it is hoped sittings will have resumed in Durham.

He was bailed to appear at a pre-trial hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, on June 8, with co-accused Michael Harry Cumiskey, 25, of Raby Terrace, Darlington, who has yet to plead in the case. Mr Cumiskey was said to have been injured in a recent motorcycling accident.