A SERIAL shoplifter who threatened to smash a bottle of stolen whiskey over the head of a pursuing store detective has been jailed for five months.

Drug addict James Richardson was held in custody charged with 22 offences of thieving property worth thousands of pounds, including food, alcohol, clothing, perfume and toys.

He today pleaded guilty at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court to 16 of the allegations and to using threatening behaviour towards Nadeem Qasim at Morrisons in Keighley.

Prosecutor Nadine Clough said the pleas were acceptable to the Crown.

Among the allegations admitted by Richardson were three trips to steal meat from the Co-op in Keighley, three visits to Peacocks in the town to steal clothing, three trips to Boots in Keighley to take perfume and make-up and stealing toys worth £84 from Argos.

Richardson, 28, of York Crescent, Bingley, was caught with three bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey in Morrisons in Keighley on December 8, MissClough told the court.

He was banned from the supermarket when store detective Mr Qasim recognised him and challenged him.

Richardson ran for the door, pursued by Mr Qasim, Miss Clough said.

The defendant then turned round, holding a bottle by the neck, and threatened to smash it over Mr Qasim's head if he came any closer.

Richardson fled across the car park and Mr Qasim let him go, believing he had a penknife with him.

The court heard that Richardson had convictions for numerous similar shoplifting offences.

His solicitor advocate, Mohammed Hussain, said: "He is realistic. There are a lot of offences here and the inevitable sentence is custody."

Richardson's drug addiction had spiralled out of control at the time and his benefits had been stopped.

He was living with other drug addicts with no medication and inevitably turned to crime.

"He has been on detox in custody. He was looking like death last week. It has been a blessing for him," Mr Hussain said.

He stressed that Richardson did not have a penknife when he fled from Mr Qasim.

"He is certainly not a circus performer, having three bottles of whiskey and a penknife in his hands," Mr Hussain said.

He told the court prison would do his client "a world of good."

Richardson would use his time behind bars positively, intending to make a fresh start on his release.

Magistrates jailed him for 20 weeks.