Serial shoplifter, who stole stuff more £4,000, spared jail

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A serial shoplifter, who racked up thefts worth more than £4,000 from supermarkets, a corner shop and a sports superstore in three different towns, has been spared jail.

According to local reports, Richard Freeman — who was also known as Martin Anderson — was given a 36-week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work by Northampton magistrates.

He was also handed a compensation bill of nearly £3,000 for some of his haul, which included booze totaling more than £1,500 from Morrisons and Asda in Northampton and goods worth £560 from Boots store in Corby.

He pleaded guilty to two thefts from Boots in December 2021 plus two charges of stealing alcohol worth £81 from a local convenience store, also in Corby, reports said.

His compensation bill totaled £2,870, including £200 for the assault victim, but magistrates chose to suspend the prison sentence “due to motivation to stop offending and work with probation.”

Court documents showed Freeman was also charged under the name Martin Anderson using different addresses.

Freeman has already been given jail sentences totaling more than three years for a string of offences since 2018 and by 2020, he had appeared in court 54 times for a total of 221 offences.

Elsewhere, a shopkeeper sent a would-be robber packing after he demanded cash in a late-night robbery attempt in Northampton on Tuesday (May 17).

According to Northamptonshire Police, a man entered the ACS Store in Adnitt Road, Abington, at around 9pm and demanded cash. The store owner, however, challenged the man, forced him out of the shop and locked the door.

Detectives have issued a CCTV image of a man they believe could have key information about the incident. 

Image by Northamptonshire Police

Although the image does not show his face, officers are hoping that someone may recognise the man by his clothing — a green hooded top, dark blue jeans, and black trainers. He is also described as white, about 6ft 2in and slim, said the police.