A MAN subject to suspended and deferred prison sentences is now behind bars after a two-day shoplifting spree.

Gavin Anthony Short was one of four intruders who took part in a burglary at the home of a man they knew to have been arrested earlier that day, in Eldon Terrace, Ferryhill, on December 4.

He was the only one of the quartet not to be jailed at Durham Crown Court on January 4, receiving an eight-month sentence suspended for a year, because of his lack of many previous offences.

But, following the theft of two bottles of vodka, worth almost £42, from a small store in Ferryhill, 12 days later, he was given a three-month deferred sentence in May, with conditions which included not committing any offences and that he undertakes a drug treatment programme.

Short, 34, of Church Street, Ferryhill, was back before the crown court, however, on committals for sentence from Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court, having admitted four charges of theft.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said they stem from him stealing two packets of cigarettes from a Ferryhill shop, £65 worth of meat from the town Co-op, plus the theft of charity collection boxes from two other local shop premises, all on June 3 and 4.

Andrew Fenny, mitigating, said the defendant, who has been remanded in custody since June 5, was aware he is facing an “inevitable” custodial sentence for the breaches of the suspended and deferred sentences.

Mr Fenny said Short’s previous limited record helped him avoid an immediate jail sentence earlier this year and he is now “embarrassed” at spurning the opportunities offered to him by the court.

He said while Short has fared well on a methadone programme to overcome a heroin addiction, he briefly began taking cocaine in early June, which proved expensive to fund and led to the low-level thefts.

Judge Christopher Prince told Short: “When suspended and deferred sentences are passed, courts expect defendants to comply with them.

“If they don’t, they are warned they are likely to receive immediate custody if it is not unjust to do so.”

Jailing him for six months, he added: “You have committed further offences in breach of these orders and it’s not unjust for you to serve a sentence in custody.”