A prolific 62-year-old thief has been convicted of his 54th shoplifting offence - but was spared jail again.
Ian Newall stole aftershave and sweets from stores in Scarborough and CCTV caught him in the act. He was arrested but denied the offences despite a stack of evidence pinning him to the crimes.
Newall, of Bridlington Street, Hunmanby, appeared at York Crown Court on Monday when he initially pleaded not guilty to stealing a £62 bottle of aftershave from Debenhams on January 2 and confectionery from Boyes department store on January 19.
Newall was relying on the fact that when he was caught, he had none of the stolen items about him. He also claimed he had left a pound coin at the till point in Boyes for the price of the sweets before leaving the store.
But judge Andrew Stubbs QC ordered CCTV footage of the thefts to be shown in court and advised Newall, through his lawyer, to reconsider his pleas in the face of overwhelming evidence and the defendant’s long shoplifting record.
Following a short adjournment, Newall returned to the dock and entered guilty pleas to both theft charges.
Prosecutor Simon Waley said Newall was a “prolific” shoplifter who had numerous convictions for theft dating back many years.
In September 2016, he was given a six-month suspended prison sentence for shoplifting after being given a suspended jail term the previous year.
David Camidge, for Newall, said his client was unemployed with little money.
Judge Andrew Stubbs QC told Newall: “You are a prolific shoplifter - it’s what you do.”
But he said that instead of jailing Newall, he had decided upon a form of punishment designed to stop him stealing again.
“It seems more important to me that I keep you from shoplifting than spending large amounts of (public) money locking you up,” he added.
Newall was given a two-month suspended prison sentence with a four-month nightly curfew. Mr Stubbs made no order for costs or compensation because of Newall’s limited financial means.