Serial thief is banned from major stores

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
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A prolific shoplifter has been banned from every Asda, Argos, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s in the UK for the next two years after his latest spree.

But a lawyer representing serial thief Philip Atkinson said a criminal behaviour order, which already excluded him from the stores, did not appear to be working.

Managers of Wilko’s in Leigh town centre had even kicked him out before he could steal anything, after recognising him from previous dealings, Wigan magistrates heard.

Katie Beattie, prosecuting, said Atkinson still managed to sneak into the Lord Street outlet once to steal razors valued at £115. He was later identified on CCTV footage.

Under the terms of a criminal behaviour order, imposed in November 2016, he was banned from Leigh town centre and Parsonage Retail Park.

Atkinson, of Westwell Street, Leigh, pleaded guilty to nine breaches of the order, between July and November, and seven offences of theft, from Asda, Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Wilko’s, usually involving razors or bottles of Jack Daniels whisky.

The court heard he had 47 convictions for 102 offences - and 63 of those had been identified as shoplifting.

Kathryn Lloyd, defending, said: “He has been suffering from a long-term drug addiction, which has caused him to commit the number of offences he has.”

Justices jailed Atkinson for 32 weeks and imposed a fresh two-year criminal behaviour order, barring him from any Asda, Argos, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s plus Leigh town centre and the retail park.