A REPEAT shoplifter has been ordered to stay out of all Co-op stores in England and Wales for the next year.

Joshua Parker, of Pentregwyn in Wrexham, appeared in custody at Mold Magistrates Court on Thursday.

With the assistance of a sign language interpreter, the 35-year-old admitted that on July 4, he stole various items worth a total of £30 from Ruabon Park Service Station, and £50 worth of goods from Co-op in Rossett on July 8.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson told the court Parker had been arrested at his home on Wednesday.

The defendant had previously admitted nine other counts of theft from shops in the Wrexham area, on dates in February, April and May - for which he was also due to be sentenced.

The majority of those were committed at the Co-op store in Lord Street, but also targeted were Ruabon Park Services, Co-op in Borras Park Road and Coedpoeth Premier store.

Ms Jackson told the court at the last hearing the items taken included: fizzy and soft drinks, butter, chilled foods, joints of meat, confectionary, breakfast cereal, washing detergent and more.

None of the items taken in the previously admitted offences - worth some £289.90 in total - had been recovered.

The defendant "has extensive previous convictions recorded against him," Ms Jackson told the court.

Stephen Edwards, defending, asked the court to draw back from immediate custody, explaining: "He saw a lot of domestic violence where he was brought up, and his disability led to him being targeted.

"His PIP ceased when he came out of prison a few months ago and his use of street drugs leaves him penniless.

"I ask you to draw back from immediate custody and give him a last chance."

District Judge Gwyn Jones told Parker: "I have the benefit of considering a detailed report from the probation team, who are very anxious to work with you.

"Small and bigger shops cannot survive when so much of their goods are taken and other members of the public who shop legitimately are paying the price for those who steal.

"However I am aware of the background, and the difficulties you have had for a number of years. It is clear there is still a need to work with you."

The Leader:

Parker received a 21 week custodial sentence, but it was suspended for two years.

He was ordered to undertake 40 rehabilitation activity days and pay compensation in the sum of his stolen goods.

The District Judge also ordered him to stay out of all Co-Op stores in England and Wales - as well as Ruabon Service Station - for 12 months.