A serial shoplifter who led police on a chase through South Derbyshire, throwing away items he had just stolen as they pursued him, has been jailed.
Lee Albrighton, of High Street, Newhall, was sentenced at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court after he targeted the same Sainsbury's supermarket three times in two weeks and also stole toiletries from a pharmacy in Newhall.
The court heard that, on January 5, Albrighton was spotted leaving the Dean and Smedley pharmacy in High Street, Newhall, by police community support officers who recognised him and gave chase.
While they pursued him, Albrighton discarded what he had taken from the store as he ran.
Albrighton committed his latest series of offences less than a month after he had been handed a suspended prison term for previous incidents of shoplifting.
Peter Bettany, prosecuting, told the court: "The offences are simply this defendant going into two stores and leaving without making payment.
"The goods have only been recovered from one of the thefts and that is when he was spotted leaving the Dean and Smedley pharmacy in Newhall by police community support officers who pursued him through the town and watched as he disposed of the toiletries he stole from there as he ran away.
"The offences were recorded on CCTV and this footage was put to the defendant in interview.
"He admitted fully he was responsible and he had been stealing effectively because he did not have any money and this was the only way of earning some."
The court heard Albrighton had been handed a suspended sentence for shoplifting on December 8 at the same court but, within three weeks, he was stealing again.
He entered the Sainsbury’s supermarket in Newhall on December 29 and left having failed to pay for £69 of coffee.
On January 4, he returned to the same store and took another £29.70 worth of coffee.
He then carried out the theft of toiletries from Dean and Smedley on January 5 and his final offence saw him return to Sainsbury’s on January 10 and steal £33.50 of salmon.
Albrighton pleaded guilty to four counts of shoplifting and also to being in breach of his suspended sentence.
Simon Stevens, mitigating, said: "Mr Albrighton is under no illusions that he is going to be handed only custody today.
"He made full and frank admissions to the police, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and I can’t really say much more on his behalf."
Albrighton was jailed for 32 weeks.