A ‘prolific thief’ who stole four bottles of vodka from a Co-op has been ordered to pay the shop £80 compensation by Skipton magistrates.

James Richardson, 31, of Whinfield Drive, Keighley, was seen by members of staff at the Co-op, in Cross Hills, near Keighley, on September 22 last year acting suspiciously, the court heard. Later, the store’s CCTV footage showed him putting the bottles in a shopping basket and leaving without paying.

The court heard the incident had happened almost three weeks before he was sent to prison for 14 weeks for four offences of theft.

Richardson, who admitted theft on September 22, had spent a large portion of last year in custody, the court was told.

In mitigation, Mohammed Hussain said the theft had been carried out at a time when Richardson had been heavily addicted to opiates and that he had sold the items on to pay for his drugs. He said he was now on medication.

Magistrates told Richardson he had a terrible record and was a ‘prolific thief’ who had been before the courts more than 100 times. He was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the Co-op £80 compensation.