Sheffield thief jailed for 230th offence - after stealing underwear from Next

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A judge said businesses and shop owners in Sheffield can have ‘peace’ knowing a serial thief is behind bars – again.

Richard Goulding was jailed after admitting stealing £130 worth of underwear – his 230th recorded offence.

Sheffield Crown Court heard how 36-year-old Goulding stole the underwear from Next, on Fargate, in the city centre, on Wednesday, March 4, with the intention of selling it on.

The court heard that by committing the crime, Goulding had breached a 12-month community order and suspended jail term imposed less than a month beforehand for a previous offence.

The court heard how security guards in the store noticed Goulding acting suspiciously and as he left, a security guard asked him to stop.

Goulding then fled down Fargate, but was apprehended and arrested.

The court heard Goulding,of Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe, Sheffield, had a lengthy list of convictions dating back to 1993.

The 30 pages of previous convictions took 20 minutes to read out.

The court heard how Goulding had served a number of prison terms ranging from two months, to two years for offences such as burglary, robbery, theft, driving whilst disqualified, possession of drugs with intent to supply, criminal damage and vehicle taking.

However, the court heard Goulding was willing to turn a corner.

Judge Peter Kelson QC was told: “The problem he has had is with substance misuse, but he is motivated to work on his behaviour. He is trying to seek help.”

Judge Kelson QC, jailing Goulding for a year, said: “If you will not comply with the millions of chances you have been given then a jail sentence will give the shop owners of Sheffield peace.”