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“Truly prolific” shoplifter loses appeal against Christmas jail term

Michael Burns

A SERIAL shoplifter jailed for two festive thefts from the same store has lost an appeal against the length of his prison term.

Michael Peter Burns, 34, was locked up a week before Christmas for stealing from Maryport’s B&M Bargains on consecutive days. Burns went into the shop on both December 16 and 17, stealing gin and perfume worth a total of almost £90.

After admitting the thefts Burns, of Fletcher Street, Cockermouth, was jailed immediately for 16 weeks. Magistrates added a consecutive 12-week sentence, Burns having flouted a suspended jail term imposed weeks earlier for a Whitehaven shop burglary when he left blood at the crime scene.

His appeal against the severity of the 28-week total sentence was heard at Carlisle Crown Court today (THURS).

Barrister Tim Evans told Recorder Kevin Grice and two magistrates that Burns was a “truly prolific shoplifting offender”. Around two-thirds of his past 159 offences were shoplifting crimes and related court order breaches.

Despite submissions on Burns’ behalf, his appeal was dismissed and the sentence upheld. “Some time you are going to have to stop doing this,” he was told by Recorder Grice, who called his criminal record “appalling”.

“Until then you are going to have to serve longer and longer sentences.”

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