Penniless man turned to shop theft

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A MIDDLE-AGED man who turned to shoplifting after being refused a crisis loan by the Department for Work and Pensions has been jailed for a total of 32 weeks.

Leslie Taylor, 48, of Prospect Place, Hyde Park, was in breach of a suspended sentence for previous shop theft when he walked out of Marks and Spencer on Baxter Gate last month with more than £500 worth of clothing stuffed into carrier bags.

He had not paid for any of the 16 garments, Doncaster Crown Court was told, and ignored challenges from security guards.

When they pursued him he sat down in the street and waited to be arrested.

Taylor, described by the prosecution as a prolific shoplifter, pleaded guilty to the theft.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks for the July offence and a further 16 weeks for the previous theft committed in Nottinghamshire last year.

His solicitor, Cheryl Dudley, said he had slipped back into offending because of severe financial difficulties when some of his benefits were stopped.

His request for a crisis loan was turned down so he went straight to M&S to steal.