A REPEAT offender has been sentenced for stealing items from a popular department store.

Derek Bigley, of Hall Park, Burneside, pleaded guilty at the first opportunity to two counts of theft from a shop when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court on March 6.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly said Bigley stole items from the TK Maxx store on Stricklandgate in Kendal on February 16 and 17 this year.

He said police were alerted to the defendant having stolen items from the store on February 17.

They then stopped the defendant in a vehicle and recovered £141.95 worth of clothes, the court heard.

The prosecution could not determine the value of items stolen from the store on February 16 as the defendant was not stopped for his dishonest activity.

The court heard the 69-year-old had 108 previous convictions for dishonesty offences.

In mitigation, Taylor England urged magistrates to impose a conditional discharge.

She added that her client was a recovering heroin and alcohol addict who never went into the store with the intention to steal.

Chair of the bench Gillian Sutton agreed with her submission and imposed an 18-month conditional charge.

Before passing sentence, Ms Sutton said: “You have had a long criminal career stealing from shops. There has got to be a point where you stop.

“When you are tempted to steal again, just remember you now have this hanging over you.”

Bigley was also ordered to pay £85 in court costs and a £26 surcharge.