South Tyneside serial thief jailed for eight months


A SERIAL offender was told he has had “every opportunity” to reform by a court judge who locked him up for more than eight months for his latest crime spree.

David Kelly was put back behind bars after admitting three shop thefts, being in possession of drugs at a pub, failing to surrender to police custody and breaching a conditional discharge.

South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that the 32-year-old has only been released from prison in December, but was caught with amphetamines by security staff at the Scotia pub, in Mile End Road, on New Year’s Eve.

He then committed three more offences in February.

First, he stole more than £100 of razor blades from Tesco, in Newcastle Road, South Shields, on February 10.

He then failed to surrender to custody on February 18 after being bailed in January.

Then he attempted to steal booze, worth nearly £67, from Morrisons in Jarrow.

Kelly, of Stanhope Road, South Shields, also admitted snatching 14 bottles of Lynx worth £27.86 from Savers store, in the Denmark Centre, South Shields, on October 23 of last year.

District Judge Helen Cousins jailed him for 34 weeks for the six offences.

The court heard that Kelly had been identified on CCTV carrying out the thefts from Tesco and the Savers store.

He was spotted by a security guard with the amphetamines in his possession at the Scotia pub and arrested by police.

Laura Johnson, defending, said: “He has a horrendous record and doesn’t hide away from that fact.

“Drugs have been a problem for him since the age of 17.

“He has used heroin one and off.

“He has started on a methodone script and has made an appointment with Turning Point.

“Drugs have been an issue and have been behind the commission of his offences.

“He accepts he needs to turn his life around and is willing to work with the probation service.

“He has pleaded guilty to all the offences and should be given full credit for that.

“He wants to make amends and make changes in his life.”

Sentencing Kelly, District Judge Helen Cousins said: “You have had every opportunity the court can give you.

“You just don’t take any notice.

“I am going to give you a significant prison term.

“Long enough for you get drug-free in custody.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris