A 'PERSISTENT and prolific' thief has been handed a suspended sentence after repeatedly stealing from Herefordshire shops.

Daniel Waselewski admitted 12 counts of theft from a shop when he appeared before magistrates in Kidderminster in April.

The court heard from prosecutor Valerie Hart that the 28-year-old had stolen a bottle of Jack Daniels worth £33 from Tesco in Hereford on October 13, a crate of beer worth £12, and alcohol worth £20 from Co-operative in Ross-on-Wye on November 13, whiskey worth £22 from Sainsbury's in Ross on November 15, and alcohol and food worth £19.60 from Co-operative in Ross on November 23.


He had also stolen alcohol worth £20 from Spar Stores in Ross and alcohol worth £15.80 from Co-operative in Ross on December 12, alcohol worth £20 from Spar in Ross on December 17, food from Co-operative in Ross on December 23, food worth £1.25 from Morrisons in Ross on January 1, a speaker and outdoor lights worth £44.98 from J Mart in Ross on January 23, and energy drinks worth £4.38 from WH Smith in Hereford on April 13.

Magistrates said the offences were so serious that only a custodial sentence could be justified due to his persistent and prolific offending, going equipped, and acting with others, but that his sentence would be suspended as he has been offered employment and as he would risk losing his accommodation if immediate imprisonment was imposed.

Waselewski, of Whitecross Road in Hereford, was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, with magistrates saying they had taken his guilty plea into account when deciding on the penalty.

He was also ordered to pay compensation to the businesses he had stolen from and to pay prosecution costs of £185 and a £154 victim surcharge.