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    Heroin-addicted prolific shoplifter given 7-month jail sentence

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    A drug-addicted shoplifter accused stealing hundreds of pounds worth of meat, instant coffee, chocolates, and toiletries from Swansea Co-op c-stores has been sentenced to seven months in prison.

    According to local reports, Daniel Smith targeted Co-op convenience stores in Swansea taking a huge haul of items in order to fund his heroin addiction, on one occasion brazenly returning to the same shop from where he had just stolen packets of meat in order to help himself to a couple of cans of energy drink.

    The 24-year-old’s barrister said shoplifting had become part of defendant’s “lifestyle”.

    Swansea Crown Court was told how Smith stole a haul of items including dozens of jars of instant coffee, boxes of Milk Tray and other chocolates, more than 100 shampoos, deodorants and skin care products, and packets of meats during the thefts, filling up the carrier bags he had taken with him before walking out. He sometimes operated alone, sometimes with another mate, and on occasion acted as part of a group, the court heard.

    Smith had previously pleaded guilty to five counts of theft when he appeared in the dock for sentencing via videolink from prison. He has 20 previous convictions for 44 offences including 19 thefts and kindred matters. At the time of the shoplifting spree Smith was subject to a community order for his part in an affray which had seen him brandishing a spade during a confrontation in the street.

    With discounts for this guilty pleas, Smith was sentenced to three months in prison for each of the five thefts all to run concurrently making three months in prison. The judge revoked the community order for the affray and resentenced Smith to four months for that offence to run consecutively with the shoplifting sentence making an overall sentence of seven months, stated the reports.

    Addressing Smith, judge Catherine Richards said while the shops targeted by the defendant were part of a chain, they were local convenience stores serving the community, adding such shops often had limited numbers of staff on duty and were sometimes seen by shoplifters as being an “easy target”.

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