AN alcoholic thief asked to be sent back to jail after admitting snatching a bottle of cider from a South Tyneside store.
Prolific offender James Burlinson was caught on CCTV taking the £3.39 booze from B and M Bargains in Queen Street at 1.30pm on Sunday.
When he went back into the store at 3pm on the same day he was spotted by staff, who recognised him from the footage and called in police.
The 58-year-old was arrested and admitted the offence.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “Burlinson was identified and then arrested at 4pm by police.
“He fully admitted the offences.
“He has over 40 theft and kindred offences in the past.
“He was last before the court in December of last year, when he was given a prison term for theft.”
Brian Chapman, defending, said: “Mr Burlinson has alcohol problems that have led to him leading a dissident life.
“He commits thefts to feed his alcohol addiction.
“He has nowhere to go and no money, and yet he craves alcohol.
“He advises me he would like to be sent back to prison.”
However, magistrates declined the chance to send Burlinson to jail, instead handing him a fine of £73 and ordering him to pay court costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £20 and compensation to the store of £3.39.
Last month, the Gazette revealed how Burlinson was to spend his birthday and Christmas behind bars after his solicitor, Angus Westgarth, told magistrates in South Tyneside that his client would continue to commit offences and be a nuisance to society – unless they sent him to prison.
It came after he appeared in court after being caught attempting to steal a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey from the Tesco supermarket in Newcastle Road, South Shields.
The Bench duly obliged and sentenced him to 10 weeks in jail.
After the decision, Burlinson thanked the Bench as he was led away from the dock.
It was the second time in six months that Burlinson has been jailed at his own request.