A ‘PROLIFIC’ shoplifter who failed to turn his life around and break free from addiction has been jailed.

Robert Evans, of John Street in Llangollen appeared at Mold Crown Court for five offences of theft.

The court heard how all of the offences involved Evans entering the store, concealing items under his clothes and then leaving the store.

On January 8, gin was stolen to the amount of £27.98 and on March 9, April 14 and June 2, meat was stolen from the SPAR in Llangollen, amounting to a total of £159.

On May 11, over £26 worth of beer, coffee and stationary was stolen whilst he 'paid for a pint of milk'.

The court heard how Evans, who has 58 previous convictions, was also in breach of a previous suspended sentence for the possession of a bladed article and theft.

Henry Hills, defending, said the 44-year-old’s offending behaviour is ‘directly linked to his addiction to drugs and drink’.

He added there were no ‘aggravating features by way of violence or aggression’ and he is ‘normally a hard-working labourer who works locally’.

The court heard how the requirements of his previous suspended sentence had not been fully met.

Mr Hills added: “He has his own house, he rents.

“It’s already been alluded to that he was offence free from 2015 to 2019 but obviously has got himself into a downward spiral now.

“He understands he will receive an immediate custodial sentence but I ask your Honour to be as lenient as possible.”

Judge Timothy Petts said Evans was a ‘prolific’ shoplifter and appeared before him in July last year.

He said: “I had to sentence you for possession of a bladed article and two thefts. On that occasion there was a very positive pre-sentence report.

“You had reached the point where you were prepared to take the opportunity to turn your life around by trying to break free of drug addiction and criminal behaviour.

“On the basis of that report I did give you that chance but you have spectacularly failed to take it.

“The report today shows multiple failures to attend appointments.”

The judge went on to say that Evans targeted supermarkets or other shops to steal goods of some ‘immediate value; which can be easily concealed, ‘no doubt for onward sale’ to deal with his drug addiction.

He added: “This is a case of high culpability because of the planning gone in to target these shops.”

The court heard how there was ‘little to be said’ on Evans’ behalf and although each theft individually has a ‘low’ level of shoplifting, together, they cross the £200 threshold.

For the thefts and breach of a suspended sentence, Evans was sentenced to a total of 20-months imprisonment.

Judge Petts added: “Let me warn you, if on release you carry on committing, you can expect further sentences of a long nature because it is high time you learnt your lesson and stopped plaguing shops as a prolific shoplifter.”