ONE of the district’s most prolific shoplifters has been jailed for six months after a judge heard he had 75 previous convictions for over 200 offences on his record.

James Richardson’s barrister told Bradford Crown Court that the 33-year-old had described himself as “an absolute waste of space”, but Judge Jonathan Carroll told the heroin addict he was still young enough to change his life. Over a five-week period between September 3 and October 9 Richardson committed a dozen shoplifting offences at stores in Keighley, Steeton and Silsden.

Prosecutor Paul Nicholson said Richardson simply walked into shops, picked up items and walked out again.

The crime spree involved property including electric toothbrushes, coats, bottles of whisky and boxes of chocolates.

“Around £4,000 worth of property was taken and none of it was recovered,” said Mr Nicholson.

Richardson was identified from CCTV footage and admitted stealing from stores such as Boots, New Look, the Co-op and Morrisons to fund his drug addiction.

Mr Nicholson said during the last ten years Richardson had committed 127 shoplifting offences and he was jailed for three months for similar offending back in March.

Richardson, of Whinfield Drive, Keighley, pleaded guilty to 12 theft charges and his barrister Rebecca Young conceded he was a prolific offender.

Judge Carroll said Richardson’s record was truly dreadful and shocking.