The Chronicle

Se­rial raider is caught in the act - again

- Crime · United Kingdom · Lidl Stiftung & Co KG · North Tyneside

A PRO­LIFIC thief once banned from en­ter­ing ev­ery su­per­mar­ket in the UK has been back up to his old tricks.

In Jan­uary 2019, Lee Stephenson was given a 12-month ex­clu­sion or­der by a judge which pro­hib­ited him from go­ing into any food stores in the coun­try.

In the months which fol­lowed, the 33-year-old be­came un­well and un­der­went a heart trans­plant - but that did not stop him soon re­vert­ing to type.

A court heard the crook was caught steal­ing from shops in Septem­ber this year and, just one month later, he was at it again.

This time, Stephenson helped him­self to meat and air fresh­en­ers from Lidl in Ben­well, but, like so many times be­fore, was caught in the act.

He had been due at North

Ty­ne­side Mag­is­trates’ Court on Oc­to­ber 30 but failed to show and a war­rant was is­sued for his ar­rest.

Stephenson, of Jeni­son Av­enue, Ben­well, appeared in court on Wed­nes­day and pleaded guilty to one count of shop theft and one of fail­ing to sur­ren­der to cus­tody.

He was given a 12-month con­di­tional dis­charge.

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