A PROLIFIC shoplifter has been given a second chance by a judge to prove that he can stop reoffending.

Simon White, 44, has more than 100 convictions for 313 offences, most in connection with shoplifting and theft.

He appeared at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (January 18) charged with three further offences of theft and one count of breaching a suspended order.

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However, Judge Ian Pringle decided to give White a chance to prove he could stop offending instead of activating the suspended sentence of nine months.

He said: “I’m going to defer sentence. If you don’t commit any further offences in the next two months, I won’t impose this prison sentence and you’ll still be able to pick up your daughter from school.

“I’m expecting you not to have committed any future shoplifting or criminal offences in these two months.”

Opening the case, prosecutor Kathy Oliver told the court White had been caught on October 25 last year entering a Co-Op store in London Road, Headington and stole alcohol and chocolate to the value of £35.

On November 26, he was caught on CCTV entering the Waterstones store in Broadstreet, Oxford and stealing two Pictionary Air games to the value of £43.98.

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A month later, on December 21, he was caught in the same Co-Op store stealing four bottles of wine by hiding them in his jacket and walking out. The value was £60.

Ms Oliver said: “He has committed shoplifting regularly in Oxford.”

Defending White, barrister George Joseph explained that White has been addicted to drugs since he was a teenager and he shoplifts when his benefits, which he spends on drugs, runs out.

He said: “The reality is it’s not going to change overnight. He’s in his mid-40s now and this does need to change.

“He’s embarrassed to be here and he doesn’t want to be here.”

Mr Josef added that White would lose his accommodation if given an immediate custodial sentence and that he would miss his young daughter.

“He goes to see his daughter every day and picks her up from school and takes her to the park and it’s the happiest he’s been,” he said.

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Judge Pringle noted that he’s aware White is ‘trying’ to improve but described the consistent offending as ‘depressing’ for those impacted.

“It’s depressing for those who work in these supermarkets,” he said. “[They] see him come in and he’s well known.”

White, of James Street, Oxford, is next due in the same court on March 21.