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Curfew order to deter prolific shoplifter

Traders in Newbury and Thatcham 'needed to be protected from him'

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

court gavel

A COURT-imposed curfew was the latest attempt to protect local shopkeepers from a prolific shoplifter.

Reading magistrate Donald Skelton told 43-year-old Alan Waters that traders in Newbury and Thatcham needed to be protected from him.

Mr Waters, who lives at Southend in Cold Ash, has racked up 33 convictions for shoplifting alone, in addition to other unrelated offences, the court heard on Thursday.

Andy Callender, prosecuting, said on this latest occasion Mr Waters had stolen meat worth £159.64 from Waitrose in Thatcham. He added: “He was identified by a police officer from CCTV footage taken in the store. None of the stolen goods were recovered.”

Mr Waters admitted committing the theft on July 30 and has numerous previous convictions. In January 2016 police had to use the incapacitant Captor spray on Mr Waters when he wore a balaclava into a bookmakers while wanted on another shoplifting charge.

A probation officer told magistrates at that time that Mr Waters “refuses to address his drug use or engage in discussions about his criminal behaviour”.

Adonis Daniel, defending Mr Waters on the latest theft charge, said his client was currently subject to a conditional discharge, but was not in breach of it because it was imposed after the shoplifting incident.

Presiding magistrate Mr Skelton, after retiring to confer with colleagues, told Mr Waters: “You’re a prolific shoplifter.

“Almost everything has been tried with you to get you to realise that your lifestyle is not acceptable. We have to find some way of protecting shopkeepers from you.”

He said Mr Waters would be made subject to a community order with a curfew requirement.

This means that, for 21 days from the date of the hearing, Mr Waters must stay at home between 4pm and 4am each day.

The curfew will be monitored by an electronic tag.

In addition, Mr Waters was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £85.

Finally, he was ordered to pay compensation of £159.64 to Waitrose.

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