A PROLIFIC Newport shoplifter has been sentenced for his 42nd offence. 

Michael Bunce, of Barton Road, appeared before Isle of Wight magistrates on Tuesday (May 17). 

The 44-year-old admitted theft from a shop in Newport, on April 7. 

Prosecutor, Rhys Evans, told the court Bunce had entered B&M at approximately 1pm.

He said he stole food and drink items to the value of £15, and those items were not recovered. 

The court heard he had 21 previous convictions for 41 offences, and 28 of those were for theft or kindred offences. 

Henry Farley, defending, told the court Bunce pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

He said his last offence was some six months ago, so it had not been a shoplifting spree.

The court heard Bunce had been extremely hungry on the day in question and had substantial personal difficulties. 

Mr Farley said he stole so he and his dog could eat, and his previous three offences took place during a period of homelessness.

Magistrates told Bunce his pattern of shoplifting was concerning, and he was made subject of a 12-month community order, to include 20 rehabilitation days. 

Court costs and surcharge were waived, but he was ordered to pay £15 compensation to B&M.