A PROLIFIC thief will spend Christmas behind bars after stealing more than £600 of goods from two South Tyneside stores in just over a week.
George Henderson’s crime spree started on Thursday, December 12, when he snatched £150 worth of aftershave from Asda Boldon.
He returned to the supermarket, in North Road, the next day to plunder another £271 of aftershave.
He was spotted carrying out the offences and when arrested by police, he asked for two further thefts from Morrisons in Jarrow to be taken into consideration.
The court heard the 37-year-old took £80 of razor blades from the store on Saturday, December 14, and stole another £100 of razor blades from the same premises on Friday, December 20.
Henderson, of St Bede’s House in Gateshead, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from Asda in Boldon at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
He asked for the other two offences to be taken into account.
Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “These were unsophisticated offences. He was caught on CCTV in Asda Boldon on December 12, taking the aftershave and leaving without payment.
“On December 13, he was seen by staff taking the aftershave and leaving without payment.”
Henderson was on a 12-month community order with supervision and a drug rehabilitation requirement – handed out on October 26 for a burglary offence – at the time of the supermarket thefts
Christopher Brown, defending, asked for magistrates to use the “carrot and stick” approach by giving Henderson a suspended sentence.
Mr Brown said: “He is subject to a community order at the present time.
“The cure isn’t instant, but it is to have a long-term effect. He can’t continue to commit these offences.
“The underlying core issue is drugs and he does have a drug rehabilitation order.
“It would be back to square one if he went to prison for a short time.
“If you feel the custody threshold has been passed, you could take the carrot and stick approach.
“If a suspended sentence order is put in place, he will know that nothing will happen to him if he doesn’t re-offend.”
Pauline Barratt, chairwoman of the magistrates, gave Henderson an eight-week prison sentence for both thefts at Asda – taking the other two admitted thefts into account. The jail terms will run concurrently.
She told Henderson: “The purpose of the sentence is to punish you and to help the reduction of crime.”
Magistrates also asked for the community order and drug rehabilitation requirement to be allowed to continue once Henderson is out of custody.
A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police, said: “We are continuing to tackle shoplifting as part of Operation Soundwave, aiming to turn up the volume on crime and silence opportunist criminals in the run-up to Christmas.”