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BEHIND BARS: Hemel Hempstead shoplifter steals again

 Published on: 3rd August 2021   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

Homeless Hemel Hempstead shoplifter James Watson was stealing again just three days after being given a suspended jail sentence.

Watson, 35, took over £1,000 of goods from the ASDA supermarket in the town on three occasions in June this year.

Prosecutor Zafreen Chowdhury told Luton crown court today that he was identified by the police from the store’s CCTV after stealing items including:  a TV, alcohol and a barbecue on June 12, 14, 23. The total came to £1,027.30p.

In custody he tested positive for cocaine. He told the police he was stealing because he owed money to drug dealers.

Watson, of no fixed address, admitted breaching a 16-week suspended sentence that had been imposed on June 9. 

He was committed for sentence after pleading guilty to three charges of theft. He had 12 previous convictions for 31 offences.

Defending, Jacob Gifford Head said: “He had a number of troubles in his early and mid-20s. After a difficult childhood he built himself a career (as a roofer) and had a family and five children.

“Last year his relationship ended, and he lost his partner. He was shoplifting to fund his drug addiction. He was homeless.

“He is very remorseful. He wants to turn his life around.”

Recorder Patrick Fields told him: “On three separate occasions you walked into ASDA, packed your trolley with goods and brazenly walked out. Only three days prior to the first theft you had been given a suspended sentence. Prison must inevitably follow.”

He sentenced him to a total of 52 weeks in jail.

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