A SERIAL offender has been jailed after ransacking a convenience store and stealing cash and cigarettes.

Michael Forajter was caught red-handed after a member of staff discovered he had emptied the cash register of two tills and stuffed £5,000 worth of cigarettes into a black bin liner.

The 42-year-old targeted a Londis shop in Middlesbrough at around 6am on July 10 this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Forajter was identified by his finger prints left on the bin bag stuffed with cigarettes he abandoned when he was disturbed.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said the defendant had 19 previous convictions for burglaries.

Forajter, of Lytton Court, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Shaun Dryden, in mitigation, said his client deserved full credit for admitting the 'opportunistic' offence.

Recorder Angus Wittington QC jailed the repeat offender for 16 months.

“You have a quite awful number of previous convictions amounting to 91 previous offences.

"You have served terms of imprisonment before for offences of a very similar nature," he said.

"You have a quite deplorable set of previous convictions which, not withstanding considerable punishment, the courts have not been able to get you to comply with the law."

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