Serial offender caught stealing bottles of Jack Daniels from South Shields Morrisons store

A serial offender was caught stealing spirits from a South Tyneside supermarket.

Richard Hall, 37, made off with three bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey, totalling £92, from Morrisons’ store in Ocean Road, South Shields.

But Hall, of Deneside Close, Throckley, Newcastle, was spotted in the act and caught with his haul at the town’s Metro rail station on Thursday, December 29.

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Magistrates in South Tyneside heard he had a “horrendous” criminal record of 80 convictions, but his offending had slowed in recent years.

Morrisons in South Shields.

Prosecutor Greg Flaxen said: “It’s a simple theft matter. The defendant enters the Morrisons store and security are alerted to him.

“He was found with some bottles of Jack Daniels which were returned. The most aggravating factor is his previous record.

“He has 80 convictions from 62 offences. There is among them a suspended sentence of 12 months.

“He accepted the offence in interview and explained that he was struggling and wasn’t getting paid until January 8.

“There are some gaps in his offending. Until January 2018 it was horrendous.”

Hall, who was living in Sunderland at the time of his offence, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from a shop.

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Jason Smith, defending, said: “The reality of the situation is that Richard was down on his luck, and he was struggling.

“His benefits weren’t going to get paid for a few weeks. The police came to him at the Metro station, the tags were still on the bottles.

“He hasn’t been in trouble since January 2021, which is almost two years since the offence.

“He doesn’t want to be in this court anymore and is embarrassed to be here. Since 2018 there has been a huge reduction in his crime.”

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Magistrates sentenced Hall to a 12-month unconditional discharge, with £85 court costs and a £26 victim surcharge.