A PROLIFIC thief will spend his Christmas behind bars after admitting to a string of shoplifting offences.

Nicholas Doy, of Fairfield Road, Braintree, pleaded guilty to 16 offences of theft from a shop and one offence of possession of cocaine during a hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

An investigation carried out by the Braintree Town and Community Policing teams found Doy, 34, was responsible for a spate of thefts across the district which all occurred in a seven week period.

Between 7 September and 24 November this year, Doy was found to have stolen goods worth close to £2,500 from a variety of supermarkets and shops.

This included:

  • Between 7 September and 28 October, a three-figure sum of goods, including electrical goods, alcohol and meat, from Tesco in Market Place, Braintree.
  • Three bottles of alcohol, in total worth a two-figure sum, from Morrisons in Witham. This took place on the afternoon of 24 September.
  • Meat worth a two-figure sum was stolen from Sainsbury’s in Tofts Walk, Braintree, on the following day.
  • Confectionary and alcohol, worth a total two-figure sum, taken from the Co-op in Challis Lane, Braintree, on 28 September.
  • On 1 October, a two-figure sum of confectionary was taken from the Co-op Stop on Cressing Road, Braintree.
  • Between 14 October and 12 November, a four-figure sum of clothing was stolen from Next in Braintree Retail Park.
  • A theft of fragrances, worth a total three-figure sum, from Boots in Braintree’s Superdrug store between the 20 and 24 November.
  • Doy was finally arrested on Tuesday, November 26 and was remanded in custody until he admitted the charges brought against him in court last week.

Magistrates sentenced him to 26 weeks in jail.

Speaking after sentencing, Inspector Colin Cox, of Braintree’s Community Policing Team, said: "It’s brilliant news that Doy will spend Christmas behind bars and will be unable to commit crime against retailers at this busy time of year.

"The outstanding work of Town Centre Team officers, along with their Community Policing Team colleagues, meant that Doy had no choice but to admit to his offences. They gathered hours of CCTV and other evidence to put him behind bars.

"We won’t stand for crime against businesses, no matter how big or small, and will be stepping up patrols in local shopping areas in the run up to Christmas to deter criminals from committing crime in our district."