A regular shoplifter has admitted three further offences after studying in-store CCTV and confirming he is the thief featured on the footage.

Simon Marcus Freeman last month admitted theft of items from Savers, Health and Beauty, and from a branch of McColl’s, both in the Durham area, on April 29 and May 10, this year.

But at the same Durham Crown Court plea hearing he denied three similar charges relating to theft of items from the Co-op, in Ushaw Moor, between April 10 and May 1 this year, claiming his recollection was vague if he was also responsible for those.

The judge at that hearing adjourned for Freeman to be produced from custody, in nearby HMP Durham, to attend the crown court, so he could, himself, view the cctv footage from the store.

Read more: Accused County Durham shoplifter vague as to recollection of alleged crimes

A figure resembling Freeman, dressed similarly on all three occasions, is seen selecting items from the display shelves and placing them into a large bag over his shoulder, before leaving the Broom Lane store without making payment.

When asked at the conclusion of the screening of the short videos if it was him featured on the footage, he replied: “Yes, it was me and I’ll plead guilty.”

Freeman, who was unrepresented, then submitted guilty pleas, and said all shoplifting incidents happened at a time when he was visiting a relative in the North East from Portsmouth, where he has lived in recent years.

He said the relative he was visiting died and he found himself short of money, having had difficulty with his bank.

The case was adjourned as a schedule of other shoplifting offences, from both Durham and the Portsmouth area, are also to be put to Freeman, who has spent the last five weeks in custody.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Prince Charles Avenue, Bowburn, will be produced again from custody at the court, on Friday, when it is hoped he can be sentenced.

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