A PROLIFIC thief has been jailed after stealing from a South Tyneside shop – just a week after a court gave him a suspended prison sentence.
Keith Bingham stole bedding worth £35 from BHS in Waterloo Place, South Shields, on Wednesday.
The 46-year-old, of Brunswick Street, South Shields, asked a shop assistant to check something about the items and when she returned, he had left – along with the goods.
He was arrested nearby with the bedding and pleaded guilty to theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The Gazette reported last week how Bingham, who has more than 60 convictions for theft, was given a chance by District Judge Caroline Goulborn, after she was told he was making progress with the probation service.
Judge Goulborn gave him a four-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, for two thefts and an attempted theft.
However, yesterday, fellow District Judge John Foster decided enough was enough.
Jailing Bingham for eight months, he said: “You have a prolific record and you were here last week for extremely similar offences.
“I’m sure you understand the significance of a suspended sentence, but you have stolen again within days.
“You have totally disregarded the court’s sentence, so I have no option other than sending you to custody.”
Val Bell, defending, told the court that Bingham has a long-standing heroin problem, but was trying to get off the drug.
She said: “He has put himself in a difficult position.
“He might be working with probation and making progress, but it is not helpful that he has stolen again after a matter of days.”
Speaking after the case, South Shields town centre Neighbourhood Inspector Peter Sutton said: “Individuals who have been given every opportunity to stop re-offending can expect a custodial sentence.
“This should be a lesson to others who do not engage with services of what they can expect.”