A town’s store owners and retailers in general have been given some respite from the activities of a serial shoplifter and burglar.

It follows the latest custodial sentence passed on Jonathan Banks, after a shoplifting spree mostly in Shildon, County Durham, in late May and throughout June this year.

Durham Crown Court heard that among the spate of offences were three thefts from the Co-op in Redworth Road, taking meat items, washing tablets and conditioner, while another premises he targeted was Shildon Express, from where he is barred.

Jonathan Gittins, prosecuting, said a further business affected by Banks’ activities, which offered household and gardening equipment for people with disabilities, lost items worth more than £600, while the value of goods taken in the other thefts totalling £446.94.

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Victim impact statements were outlined to the court by Mr Gittins in which shop owners spoke of the financial loss to their businesses from incidents which keep happening, “over and over again”.

Other retailers said it made staff and clients feel unsettled, while they were unsure how they would replace the stolen items.

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Banks, who was recognised on cctv while committing each offence, made no comment when arrested other than to concede it was him on footage from one of the targeted premises.

The 31-year-old defendant, of Lilburn Close, Shildon, admitted seven counts of theft, one of which was theft by finding.

It put him in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed at the court, in April, aimed at giving the defendant a chance to work with the Probation Service to address his drug misuse.

The court heard Banks has 49 offences of theft on his record from 2008 to 2023.

Tony Davis, in mitigation, told the hearing: “Clearly he’s coming to the end of what the court may feel is an extended run of trying to address his drug problems.

“It’s all acquisitive crime and it has to be said he hasn’t engaged with the Probation Service.

“I simply ask for the sentence to be kept mercifully short.”

Read more: Shildon burglar who stole steam cleaner to buy drugs is jailed

Judge Jo Kidd told the defendant: “Mr Banks, earlier this year I gave you a chance to engage with the Probation Service, who began paper work to address your drug addiction, because you have a terrible record of offences of dishonesty entirely borne out by that addiction.

“Just over a month ago, having been given your last chance, you were out stealing again from businesses.

“Some people think there’s little or no impact when people steal from businesses.

“That would be entirely wrong and there are victim impact statements from some of the people from whom you stole.”

Judge Kidd said the business supplying people with disabilities has been left in doubt as to its future.

Banks was jailed for a total of 26 months, of which he must serve up to half behind bars before being eligible for release on licence.

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But Judge Kidd warned Banks that if he commits a further offence while subject to licence he is likely to be recalled to prison.

She added: “If you don’t use this period in prison to address your drug misuse then we’ll be seeing you again, very soon in future.

“Take the chance,” she added.