Jacket thief given 10 month prison term

In Court
In Court

A man who was caught shoplifting from a Gainsborough town centre store has been jailed for 10 months at Lincoln Crown Court.

James Smith, who was already under the threat of a suspended sentence at the time, walked out of the Oldrid’s Lindsey Centre store in Gainsborough Market Place without paying for two jackets.

Nicki Forster, prosecuting, told the court that Smith walked away along Heaton Street.

But the theft had been spotted by another customer who reported the incident to store staff.

CCTV footage from inside the store was examined and a member of security staff recognised Smith as the man taking the items.

Smith,44, of Dunstall Walk, Gainsborough, admitted the theft of two jackets worth a total of £150 on the morning of Wednesday 1st May.

He also admitted the breach of a suspended jail sentence, which was imposed at the Crown Court back in September 2011 for an offence of burglary.

The court was told that Smith had some 37 previous convictions on his criminal record involving a total of 68 offences.

David Eager, defending Smith, said the shoplifting offence occurred after Smith turned to drink following the death of his brother whom he found hanged.

He urged that Smith be given a further chance to address his offending without being sent into custody.

“This man needs help to get away from an offending lifestyle,” he said.

But Judge Michael Heath said that despite being sorry he had found his brother’s death difficult, there was no justification for a sentence other than custody.

Sentencing him to 10 months in prison, Judge Heath told Smith: “Over the years you have shown yourself, by the commission of offences, to be a dishonest individual.”

“I am sorry about your brother and how difficult it has been for you but that does not justify you going out and blatantly stealing.”

“This is an offence that is made more serious by the fact that you were subject at the time to a suspended sentence order.”

“I can see no justification for any sentence other than custody,” he added.