Serial thief jailed after raids on Aldi, bakery and garage

A "persistent offender" who took £1,000 from a bakery and then stole a brand new car during a four month crime spree has been jailed.
Thomas Campion.Thomas Campion.
Thomas Campion.

Thomas Campion, 36, had been with a group of friends when on September 22 last year he entered a bakery and stole keys and a bag containing £1,000 while the owner was in the back of the shop.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that two of Campion's friends waited outside the shop while he stole the money and soon after was caught but only £959.42 was recovered.

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Jess Slaughter, prosecuting said that a month later on October 19 Campion was passing the Prestige car garage in South Shields, South Tyneside, and stole a Citroen car.

She said: "The car had recently been sold and was being valeted outside the garage. The keys were left in the ignition and CCTV footage showed the defendant taking the car.

"As of yet we do not know of the car's whereabouts or if has been recovered."

The court heard that Campion, of Duke Street, Sunderland, then stole a gift set valued at £90 from a pharmacy on November 18 and £25 worth of coffee from an Aldi supermarket on December 2.

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Ms Slaughter said that Campion was also on a 12 month conditional discharge for stealing £33 worth of meat from a Nisa store on Hylton Road, Sunderland on November 6.

He pleaded guilty to non-dwelling burglary, three counts of theft and driving without insurance.

A member of the probation service told the court that Campion used theft to fund a severe drug addiction.

She said that Campion - who has 41 convictions for 109 offences including burglary and theft - had been a heroin addict and had moved onto cocaine which he was now fully addicted to.

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She added that he accepted what he did and welcomed a custodial sentence as he would finally be able to become clean from drugs while in prison.

Jailing Campion for 15 months Judge Robert Spragg said the defendant was a "persistent offender with a serious drug addiction".

He said: "I have been told that you are the primary carer for your mother who is suffering from ill health and I hope you use this as motivation for you to turn your life around."