A prolific shoplifter has been given a chance to turn his life around after admitting numerous incidents of shoplifting.

Darren Roberts, of Heol y Wal in Bradley, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The 49-year-old had admitted a total of ten shoplifting offences at a previous hearing.

Prosecutor Suzanne Cartwright told the court that the offences took place in Wrexham over a number of weeks, between mid-December 2023 and the end of January.

Shops targeted included Sports Direct, Co-op, Spar and Boots - with the total value of stolen goods coming to more than £400.


The defendant made admissions in interview, Ms Cartwright said, and had 20 convictions for 33 previous offences.

Of those, 22 were shoplifting-related and took place after 2022.

Ms Cartwright said Roberts is "clearly becoming prolific" for the crimes.

Emma Simoes, defending, said: "After a long addition to heroin, he went on the injection and has been free of illicit substances for a number of months.

"The catalyst for the theft is that he has been homeless for the last three years, but secured temporary accommodation with his friend.

"He was expected to contribute to the rent."

But, Ms Simoes said, her client missed his Jobcentre appointment by seven minutes, which resulted in him losing his benefits.

As such, he stole "not to fund addiction or drugs," but simply to eat and live.

A probation officer told the court Roberts had been a fitter at Airbus in the past, but is currently not able to work.

He "drinks on a daily basis," the officer added, and "does have a pattern of offending."

District Judge Gwyn Jones told the defendant: "I'm sure you know that offences of this nature are taken seriously.

The Leader:

"There's a continued pattern of offending against stores which you regularly target."

The District Judge handed down a 12 month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activity, as well as a six month drug rehabilitation requirement.

The defendant must pay out some £428.36 in compensation to the stores in question, as well as £85 in costs.

"I'm giving you a chance,"  the Judge told him.

"Don't throw it away."