Serial thief is given UK stores ban

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

A prolific shoplifter from Leigh has been banned from the premises of four retailers across the UK after striking 17 times in two months at a shopping hub.

Paul Andrew Fletcher, 27, is no longer welcome at any Marks and Spencer, Asda, Aldi or Sainsbury’s in Great Britain following his spree at the Parsonage Retail Park from mid-April to early June.

He lives an absolutely chaotic lifestyle

Colin Rawson, defending

Under a criminal behaviour order imposed by Wigan magistrates, Fletcher must also make himself known, as a serial thief, to security staff each time he enters a store for 12 months.

Prosecutor Katie Beattie said Fletcher was finally arrested on June 6 after stealing a wrought iron table from outside the town’s Frankie and Benny’s restaurant.

He was seen to throw the table over a nearby fence and walk off it, before being arrested later, the court heard.

Miss Beattie said CCTV footage was reviewed, by security staff, and it was realised that he was wanted for questioning over a series of shop thefts, stretching back to April 11.

The defendant had fled with goods worth £987.41, with further victims including B&M Bargains and Wilko’s

Applying for a criminal behaviour order, she added: “This is appropriate to prevent further offending and further harassment for the people who work in these stores, so there is an element of protection.”

Fletcher, of no fixed address, admitted to 18 offences of theft and was jailed for 124 days.

Colin Rawson, defending, said: “He lives an absolutely chaotic lifestyle, with a seriously entrenched drug misuse problem.

“He is apologetic and just wants to get out of this vicious cycle, that he seemingly cannot appear to escape from. He will enrol on every course in prison so he can help himself.”