Meat thief jailed for nine months

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A persistent thief with dozens of previous convictions for shoplifting was arrested again after stealing four joints of pork from a Leamington store.

But although another man was stealing packs of steak at the same time, Barry Miller insisted at Warwick Crown Court that they were not acting together.

Miller, 34, of Windmill Road, Leamington, was jailed for nine months after pleading guilty to the theft of the pork.

The case had been sent to the crown court by magistrates after Miller had indicated he would deny the charge.

And after he entered his guilty plea it was adjourned for a further shoplifting matter he had admitted to be committed to the court, so he could be dealt with for both matters together.

Prosecutor Ben Gow pointed out that the magistrates had declined to do so, and instead jailed Miller for 12 weeks for the other matter, which had involved the theft of taps from Homebase.

He added that Miller had 51 previous convictions for offences of theft or handling, mainly involving shoplifting, as well as six for burglary.

Nick Devine, defending, said: “The intention was to have everything dealt with together, which would have been desirable, but the magistrates decided to take their own path.

“The reason for these thefts was that when he emerged from his last sentence, it took him some time to re-sort his benefits and accommodation and the like, and he found himself bereft on money and without food.

“He resorted to shoplifting to get money to buy food to keep himself going.”