A THIEF was known as 'The Bacon Man' by staff at a store he repeatedly stole breakfast rashers from.

Blackburn magistrates heard the Spar at the Texaco garage was just one of the retail outlets targeted by Richard Conrad Beresford during what was described in court as a spree.

Beresford, 36, of Sandfield Road, Bacup, pleaded guilty to 14 charges of shoplifting at his local Spar, McColls, Lloyds Chemist and B & M Bargains. He was jailed for a total of 24 weeks.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Beresford repeatedly targeted local businesses and the manager of Lloyds said he had a massive impact on the business. On one day alone he went into the shop on three occasion and ran off with aftershave and other items.

“Staff and customers are scared and one lady hid her child behind the counter when he came in,” said Miss Allan. “He just seems to do what he wants.”

Miss Allan said the value of goods stolen was £540 although some of the thefts were of a value unknown and they were not included.

“The repeat nature of the offences may suggest he was stealing to order,” said Miss Allan.

Ben Leech, defending, said his client had been allowed to remain at large by the police twice after he had been charged.

Mr Leech said Beresford had a problem with drugs and up until 2014 had offended to fund his habit.

“Since 2014 he has been on the appropriate prescription and engaged with the various agencies and was offence free,” said Mr Leech.

“He has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and he says the voices in his head encouraged him not to keep his appointments with the mental health teams and other agencies who were trying to help him,” said Mr Leech. “He has reverted to old ways and started stealing to fund his drug habit.”