An habitual Isle of Wight shoplifter has been jailed for more than six months for breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).

Warren Russell, 40, of no fixed abode, also pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from a shop.

Russell was handed the CBO by Island magistrates on Thursday, March 14.

The court heard Russell’s persistent criminal behaviour was affecting the quality of life of residents, and causing harassment, alarm and distress to shop workers.

Under the conditions of the CBO, which was granted for three years, Russell was prohibited from:

  • Acting in an anti-social manner, that is to say acting in a manner that causes distress or is likely to cause alarm or distress to any person not of the same household as him.
  • Entering any premises which has served a banning notice on him.
  • Placing any item for sale in anything other than a shopping basket or trolley prior to payment being made at retail premises on the Isle of Wight.
  • Concealing any item for sale on his person at any retail premises on the Isle of Wight.
  • Concealing his face or head when entering any retail premises on the Isle of Wight.

He was warned that any breaches could result in a prison sentence.

Russell’s behaviour continued, however, says the force, and he was charged with the following offences:

  • Theft of a blowtorch from Hurst in Newport on April 9.
  • Theft of two pairs of sunglasses, worth £280, from Specsavers in Newport on April 9.
  • Breach of a Criminal Behaviour Order.

After pleading guilty to the charges at Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, April 10, Russell was handed a 16-week jail term, and an additional 14 weeks under an activated suspended sentence, bringing the total sentence to 30 weeks in jail.

He had been handed the suspended sentence by Island magistrates on April 3 for a previous CBO breach and three shoplifting offences.

Chief Inspector Alex Charge said: “Police on the Isle of Wight are supporting businesses and tackling retail crime as a priority.

“Part of this work involves exploring all avenues available, such as securing Criminal Behaviour Orders, as well as bringing prosecutions to court, to relentlessly pursue and disrupt habitual offenders.

“We also work closely with other partner agencies including support services for those whose offending cycle is driven by other factors such as drug and alcohol dependency.

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime - repeat offences in particular can create an environment of fear for many retail workers, making them feel unsafe in their own workplace. We want to stop this.

“We encourage businesses and the wider community to please keep reporting shop theft to us so we can continue our efforts to support victims and disrupt those responsible.”