Serial thief is given a suspended prison sentence after a shoplifting spree in Bolsover

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A prolific thief has narrowly been spared from prison after he struck five times in Bolsover in one month while he was struggling to avoid becoming homeless.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on November 7 how shoplifter Christopher Paul Bullock, 26, of Hilltop, Bolsover, raided the Co-op three times and raided Fulton Foods twice.

Prosecuting solicitor Neil Hollett said Bullock stole meat products valued at £117.70 during the first theft at the Co-op on October 8 and he was chased by staff but he managed to escape.

Mr Hollett added that Bullock stole Surf wash tablets and two sandwiches belonging to Fulton Foods on October 14, and stole foil and sandwiches from the same store on October 18.

Bullock also stole air fresheners and candles valued at £75 from the Co-op on October 27, according to Mr Hollett, and air fresheners valued at £235 from the Co-op on October 30.

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The defendant pleaded guilty to the five thefts and he admitted failing to comply with the requirements of a community order by failing to attend with a probation officer.

His community order was revoked and he was dealt with for the original offences which were subject to the community order including four counts of fraud, handling stolen goods and six thefts.

Defence solicitor Denney Lau said Bullock suffers with anxiety and depression, has suffered a relationship breakdown and has become the legal guardian for his siblings.

Mr Lau added that he has previously been homeless and had started to use heroin and he was being forced to steal to cover his accommodation and living costs.

Magistrates sentenced Bullock to ten weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

He was also ordered to pay £443.70 in compensation.