A MAN committed a series of low value shoplifting offences before and after he had been made subject to a community order for similar offences.

Blackburn magistrates heard that in all but one of the 16 shoplifting offences, Victor Wearden had targeted the same shop.

Wearden, 25, of St Mary's Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to 15 offences of theft from the One Stop Shop, Netherfield Road, Nelson, and theft of beer, cider and pork pies from the Texaco service station in Nelson and admitted breach of a community order imposed in August.

He was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to pay £300 compensation to the One Stop Shop.

Andy Robinson, prosecuting, said Wearden had pleaded guilty to the first 11 offences committed in August and September and while he was on bail for those committed the others.

“He targeted the same shop repeatedly only once stealing from anywhere else,” said Mr Robinson.

David Leach, defending, said many of the offences involved the theft of alcohol. “They were all relatively low value and very much in line with someone who has mental health problems, an alcohol addiction and a shortage of money,” said Mr Leach.

“He says he was unable to comply with the community order because of his involvement with alcohol.”

He said his client had never been to prison before and did not want to gain the experience.