Man in court for shop theft

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A Somercotes man who raided a shop three times in a month has been given credit by a court for wiping the slate clean.

James Mason stole £68 worth of hair products from Boots in Alfreton on July 6, returning to the store to commit further thefts in August.

Lynn Manning, prosecuting, told magistrates at Chesterfield he was identified from CCTV footage of the offences.

The court was told that Mason, 34, was only released from prison just before the court hearing after serving an 18-week term for previous crimes of dishonesty.

The thefts from Boots were committed before he was locked up and police interviewed him about them in jail.

Ms Manning said he had made full admissions to the offences under Operation Clean Slate, a police venture to resolve outstanding crimes.

Mason, of Leabrooks Road, admitted theft and asked for two similar offences to be considered. He was given a six-month conditional discharge.

“Had these offences been before the court earlier the prison sentence he received would not have been any greater in my opinion,” said Annette Thomas, for Mason.

“He has a lengthy record for theft. He engaged with Operation Clean Slate and he wants to make a fresh start.”