Shoplifter jailed for compulsive theft from stores

MAGISTRATES called time on a compulsive shoplifter, jailing him for 12 weeks.

Four days after being caught stealing a jacket from Debenhams, Scott Richardson, 39, of Malvern Way, walked out of Asda in Silverhill, St Leonards with nearly £300 of video games.

Richardson pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and a public order offence when he appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court last week, telling the court he had stolen the items to pay off drugs dealers.

Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: “On March 12 he walked out of Debenhams in the town centre with a jacket, priced £72 still on its hanger.

“He was immediately aggressive when confronted by security staff, threatening to stab one of them.

“After being released from custody he went to Asda and took five PS3 games and three Nintendo games, valued at £292. He was apprehended and declined to comment when interviewed by police. He has a lengthy history of offending going back over 20 years, including quite a lot for shop theft.”

Mark Glendenning, defending, said: “He does have an appalling record, due to his use of drugs. He tells me he is now drugs free but he accrued a considerable debt with a dealer.

“The thefts were so he could make payment for the drugs. He wants an opportunity to sort his life out and get himself completely free from drugs.”

Chairman of the bench Gordon Waters said: “The end of the line has come. Your time is up. We are sending you to prison for 12 weeks.”