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Gloucestershire Business News

Prolific 'chocolate and cheese' shoplifter escapes jail sentence

A prolific shoplifter has appeared in court for the second time in three weeks and received a suspended jail term for his latest spate of offending in Gloucester, Stonehouse, Quedgeley and Hardwicke.

Nathan King, 42, of Elm Grove Road West, Hardwicke, pleaded guilty at Cheltenham Magistrates Court last month December to four offences of theft between June and September.

Today, he was back before the same court where he admitted five more theft offences committed between December 22nd 2019 and January 16.

The court was told that cheese and chocolate featured in most of his thefts.

Prosecutor Peter Ashby said: "King's most recent offending began on December 22 when he stole £122 worth of goods from the Co-op store in Stonehouse, most of which were blocks of cheese and chocolate.

"He then targeted the Warner's Budgens store in Bristol Rd, Quedgeley on December 29 and stole items to the value of £16.

"On January 5 he stole 14 blocks of cheese, valued at £58 from the One Stop Shop in Hardwicke and various items from the same shop on January 12.

"On January 16 he stole £37 worth of groceries, including cheese and energy drinks from the Family Shopper store in Stonehouse.

"When King was interviewed by police he was shown CCTV footage relating to all his thefts and didn't offer any explanation to the alleged incidents.

"He has pleaded guilty to the theft offences. He is a prolific shoplifter."

Defending Clare Buckley said she had known the defendant for over 20 years and this was the first time he had actually asked for help.

She added: "Previously he didn't care if he was sent to prison. His old attitude has changed now that his partner is expecting their baby in May.

"Today he asked for help and it was a genuine request.

"Over the Christmas period King's life was a mess. He'd lost his front teeth and was unable to contact the probation service for help during this period."

Chairman of the magistrates Judith Hurrell said: "We are revoking a previous community order issued to you in December and are sentencing for the five thefts you pleaded guilty to today and the four theft charges you were convicted for previously.

"You are a prolific shoplifting offender and because some of the latest spree of thefts was committed in breach of a community order puts you over the custody threshold."

The magistrates jailed King for 10 weeks, but suspended it for a year. He was ordered to complete the necessary requirements of 12 month community order.

King was ordered to pay a total of £268 in compensation to the four shops.

Ms Hurrell emphasised to King that he was already subject to a community order and reminded him that he must not enter shops in the city centre or visit the One Stop Shop, the Co-op stores, Aldi and Asda supermarkets, petrol stations with retail shops and the retail units in Eastern Avenue.

She told King: "You have a huge amount of work to do to sort your life out."

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