Shropshire Star

Jailed again: 'You had your chance, I'm sending you back' judge tells prolific shoplifters

A judge told two shoplifters that he had no confidence that they had changed their stealing ways as he rejected pleas not to send them straight to prison.

Michael Leaver and Gareth Jones have both been jailed

Michael Leaver and Gareth Jones on their own and together stole thousands of pounds worth of goods almost straight after being released from jail for similar offences.

Leaver, aged 40, of Clover Heath, Claverley, and Jones, aged 37, who has a number of addresses listed against his name including Britannia Way, in Hadley, Telford, had been in custody on remand since last October.

Judge Anthony Lowe, handing down sentence at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Thursday, sent Leaver down for a total of two years and five months after taking his early guilty pleas into account.

He said: "Apart from a gap from 2005-2009 you have been committing these type of crime for 25 years, and 14 years from 2009.

"Prison does not deter you. Rehabilitation in 2022 had no effect on your offending.

"The sentencing guidelines don't deal with this level of offending or previous convictions."

The pair had a method of either taking off electronic tags in the shops or covering bottles with tin foil to make off with their hauls.

On one occasion it involved the stealing of a tag-removing gadget from the customer services desk of The Range, in Shrewsbury, on September 21, 2023, the court heard.

The judge handed down the 28-month sentence for the raid on Sainsbury's in Oswestry and the rest were dealt with by concurrent sentences, except a consecutive one month for a bail act offence.

Leaver was told that the four and a half months he had spent on remand would be taken into account but that he would be on licence when he comes out of prison.

"I have seen absolutely no sign that you are about to change.