Jail-threat warning for thief with 90 convictions

LAST CHANCE ... Keith Bingham was warned to keep out of trouble by magistrates.
LAST CHANCE ... Keith Bingham was warned to keep out of trouble by magistrates.

A PROLIFIC shoplifter has been warned to stay out of trouble or go back to jail.

Keith Bingham, who has more than 90 convictions – mostly for theft – stole almost £300 of goods from a South Tyneside pharmacy in two separate raids within a week.

Staff at Lloyds in New Green Street, Laygate, South Shields, noticed stock was disappearing from their shelves.

When they checked CCTV, it showed Bingham, 46, walking out with items which he did not pay for, on July 11 and 15.

Police recognised Bingham, of Brunswick Street, South Shields, and arrested him.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “CCTV showed the defendant picking up items, placing them inside his jacket and walking out without paying for them.

“He has quite a record and was put on a community order in May for a similar matter.”

Bingham was also jailed in February for other shoplifting convictions.

David Forrester, defending, said: “He has more than 90 offences on his record and has had a significant heroin problem for a number of years.

“Last year he was in court on a weekly basis and there was nothing that probation could do with him.

“However, he is now working with probation and is not using heroin.

“These are no longer thefts to fund a habit, but thefts to try and raise some money.”

Magistrates decided to defer sentencing Bingham until August 8, on condition that he doesn’t commit any more crimes and works with the probation service on his community order.

Chairman of the bench Paul Allen said: “You’re getting a bit long in the tooth for this.

“We hope this is a turning point and because of that we’re going to defer your sentence.

“If you commit any further offences, you will be back here and could go back to custody.”

Twitter: @ShieldsGazCrime