Prolific offender given last chance

PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 January 2011

North Somerset Courthouse

North Somerset Courthouse

Archant

A 'PROLIFIC' thief from Weston has been given a final warning by magistrates to keep on the straight-and-narrow or face time behind bars.

Serial crook Dean Jones was given one last chance after pleading guilty to two counts of theft at North Somerset Courthouse last Thursday.

He was spared jail after magistrates heard that he was trying to transform his life and he vowed to ‘prove’ to them that he could change his ways.

The court was told that Jones, of Swiss Road, stole a pair of jeans from Age Concern in Dolphin Square on December 3 and a bottle of Disaronno from Tesco in Station Road on December 28.

Siobhan Heron, prosecuting, said Jones was a ‘prolific’ offender and had committed 104 offences in total, 62 of which were theft or theft related.

The court heard that when Jones stole the pair of jeans he was under a community order imposed on him by Bristol Crown Court.

Jones said he was intending to pay for the £4 jeans but had wrapped them around his torso and went outside to look for a woman who he thought had taken something from him.

He told police that he had informed staff of what he was doing but Age Concern employees said they could not recall this conversation.

Jones, aged 36, also denied stealing the bottle of Disaronno from Tesco when he was arrested by police and told them that his friend had bought it for him.

However he pleaded guilty to both counts of theft along with a bail offence charge last week.

Sue Cameron, defending, said: “His eyes have been opened and he feels he is getting his life back on track.

“I submit that these [offences] were short brief lapses in what has been a substantial recovery period by Mr Jones.”

She said that recovering drug addict Jones had recently started seeing his two children again in light of his progress and he was concerned that if he was sent to prison, access would be revoked and his pregnant partner is suffering from pre-eclampsia.

Magistrates sentenced Jones to eight weeks in prison for stealing the alcohol, four weeks for taking the jeans and two weeks for the bail act offence – all suspended for 18 months.

Jones was also given an 18-month community order with a supervision requirement and ordered to pay £50 costs.

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