Public nuisance who stole from Next, B&M and Morrisons in Hartlepool is jailed

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A persistent offender carried out a series of shoplifting thefts while two jail sentences were hanging over his head.

Thomas Campbell, 41, was serving two suspended prison sentences when he stole from four Hartlepool stores to pay for drugs.

Now he has been jailed after a judge branded him a “public nuisance”.

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Campbell stole around £200 worth of goods including clothes, air fresheners, and chocolate, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. Picture by FRANK REIDMiddleton Grange Shopping Centre. Picture by FRANK REID
Middleton Grange Shopping Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

On January 8, he stole £45 of air fresheners from B&M in Middleton Grange shopping centre in two separate visits.

CCTV showed Campbell hiding the items in his jacket and leaving the store without making any attempt to pay for them.

He went on to steal two light green puffer jackets priced £156 from Next on the town’s Anchor retail park on January 24.

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On February 16, he made off with four t-shirts totalling £60 from New Look in Middleton Grange.

And on March 4, Campbell stole £38 worth of chocolate from Morrison’s supermarket.

He was already on two suspended sentences of 32 weeks and 12 weeks plus a two-year community order.

Campbell, of Eton Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the new shoplifting offences in the magistrates court, and was sent to the crown court for sentence.

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Calum McNicholas, mitigating, said leading up to the offending Campbell had been drug free until a family bereavement.

Jailing him for 54 weeks, Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “You are a public nuisance”, adding: “There comes a point when society just has to be protected from you when everything else has been done and you have refused to learn your lessons.”