A drug addict who carried out a string of shoplifting offences while under the threat of a suspended jail sentence was today locked up by a judge.
Philip Malone, who had convictions for over 60 previous offences of theft, was told by Judge John Pini QC: “You have an extremely bad record for dishonesty. You are a persistent shoplifter.
“You have been given chance after chance after chance. I have lost count of the number of times the courts have tried to help you.
“There comes a time when my fundamental duty is not to you but to give the public some respite from your thieving.”
Malone, 40, of Churchfield Close, Market Deeping, admitted two offences of shoplifting and was committed for sentence by magistrates after he was convicted of a third similar offences.
He also admitted breach of a nine-month suspended jail sentence imposed for an earlier drugs offence and he asked for seven further offences of shop theft to be taken into consideration. He was jailed for 15 months.
Noel Philo, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that Malone stole from shops in Peterborough, Billingborough, Langtoft, Bourne, Stamford and Grantham.
Sarah Munro, defending, told the court: “Since he was 15 or 16 years old he has suffered from an addiction to drugs. It is an extremely hard habit to kick.
“He has done everything he possibly can in the past to try and cure his addiction. He is on methadone. He has got a job. He has everything to lose.
“He feel absolutely devastated and is disgusted with himself at what he has done.”