An Isle of Wight man has been told to expect jail after a crime spree saw him break into and damage two yachts in Ryde and steal almost £1,200 worth of items from supermarkets.

Stephen Jones, of no fixed abode, attended the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Friday, November 24, after previously pleading guilty to burglary, burglary with intent to commit damage, six counts of theft from a shop and failure to comply with a Section 35 direction excluding a person from an area.

Lauren Stone, prosecuting, said the 65-year-old had been handed a 48-hour ban from Church Litten Park and Newport Town Centre on June 10 but was spotted in the areas in the two days following.

In relation to the thefts, Ms Stone told the court Jones walked into the shops, put items into a basket or trolley and left without paying every time, stealing almost £1,200 worth of items:

  • July 1 – £228 worth of meat from Sainsbury’s, Newport
  • July 8 – £46 worth of alcohol from Sainsbury’s, Newport
  • July 17 – £15 worth of bread and alcohol from Sainsbury’s, Ryde
  • July 31 – £290 worth of mixed goods and alcohol from Morrisons, Newport
  • September 6 – £120 worth of various goods from Sainsbury’s, Newport
  • September 8 – £491 worth of various goods from Sainsbury’s, Newport

Ms Stone said Jones also broke into two boats in Ryde Harbour between July 15 and July 17, after claiming to the harbourmaster that he bought them both for £3,000.

Both owners later found their vessels broken into, the prosecution said, with one of the owners noting the smell of tobacco, alcohol and urine, with cupboards full of Jones’ items – including bolt cutters and women’s underwear – and the bed left soiled.

A DAB radio, stolen from the other boat, was also found inside, and both boats were badly damaged, requiring their owners to pay thousands in repair costs.

Oscar Vincent, defending, Jones has various diagnoses of physical and mental conditions and spent a period sectioned.

He had no convictions until he turned 50.

Jones has already spent 11 weeks remanded in custody during the court process.

Magistrates sent the case to the crown court for sentencing on December 8, with the bench telling Jones to expect a minimum one-year prison sentence.