A prolific shoplifter who steals to fund his heroin addiction has been jailed after admitting the latest raft of offences.

Liam Watson-Hunter stole wine, food and two boxes of KitKats, when he targeted the same shop several times in little over a week.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard how the 26-year-old was serving a community order for similar offences when he stole from Tesco in Sacriston, County Durham, between May 23 and June 2.

Paul Doney, prosecuting, said the defendant stole hundreds of pounds worth of goods during his latest crime spree.

Watson-Hunter, of Braeside, Edmondsley, County Durham, pleaded guilty to eight charges of shop theft and breaching his community order.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, urged the judge to get the Probation Service to work with his client to address his drug addiction.

“He has a horrific heroin problem,” he said. “He recognises that is why these offences have come to light.

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“He is targeting the shop for one particular item to sell on for drugs. It is a seriously lamentable position.”

District Judge Marie Mallon sentenced Watson-Hunter to a total of 26 weeks for the eight recent offences and the offences subject of the community order.

She said: “Not only were you on bail for some of the offences you were also in breach of bail by entering the shop.

“The only sentence I can pass is one of custody. You will be released at the half way point.”