Persistent thief caught selling stolen jackets on Sheffield street

Sheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court

A persistent thief has had two suspended sentences activated, after a concerned resident flagged down a police car to inform officers he was selling stolen leather jackets on a nearby Sheffield street. 

Officers were patrolling in a car in Moonshine Lane, Parson Cross when a member of the public indicated they should pull over, Sheffield Crown Court heard. 

“The police were told there were two scruffy looking men selling leather jackets and it seemed dodgy,” said Bev Tait, prosecuting, adding that officers followed the directions given by the concerned resident, and found defendant, Neil Southard, with two other males. 

“Officers approached the defendant and the two other males. He was holding a bag for life.

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“They found two leather jackets with tags from Sainsbury’s, and boots from TK Maxx with the label still on,” she said. 

The items were seized from Southard, of Dryden Way, Southey Green, and police subsequently reviewed CCTV from the branch of Sainsbury’s located in Clay Wheels Lane in Wadsley Bridge. 

Footage uncovered by the officers showed Southard wearing a high-visibility jacket taking a basket out of clothes out of the store, before returning a few moments later. 

By now, Southard, aged 44, was wearing a helmet over his face and had removed the high-visibility jacket, and the footage showed him once again walk off with clothes belonging to the store. 

Southard pleaded guilty to an offence of theft at an earlier hearing. 

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He admitted that the commission of the offence put him breach of suspended sentence orders imposed at Sheffield Crown Court and Leeds Crown Court for offence of theft burglary. 

The court was told that Southard has committed 27 offences from 19 convictions, the majority of which were for offences of theft and burglary as well as drink and drug matters. 

Annette Thomas, defending, told the court that Southard was homeless when he committed the theft offence, adding that he had now been offered council accommodation in his hometown of Swansea. 

Judge Rachael Harrison jailed Southard for 13 months, after taking the theft offence and his suspended sentences into consideration. 

“You’ve been given chances by various different courts...I must activate these custodial sentences. I do not consider that anything I have been told would make this unjust,” said Judge Harrison.