A serial shoplifter using two names was spared jail after racking up thefts worth more than £4,000 from supermarkets, a corner shop and a sports superstore in three different towns.
Richard Freeman — also known as Martin Anderson — was given a 36-week sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work by Northampton magistrates.
Freeman is indeed still a free man after avoiding a jail term for his crimes, which included the theft of a bike worth nearly £1,300 from the Decathlon store in Milton Keynes.
He pleaded guilty to stealing the bike from Decathlon in MK — which was later recovered — and assault on April 6 this year.
He was also handed a compensation bill of nearly £3,000 for some of his haul, which included: booze totalling more than £1,500 from Morrisons and Asda in Northampton and goods worth £560 from Boots store in Corby.
Court documents showed Freeman was also charged under the name Martin Anderson using different addresses — Exeter Place and Addison Gardens, both in Northampton — when he appeared earlier this month.
He pleaded guilty to two thefts from Boots in December 2021 plus two charges of stealing alcohol worth £81 from a local convenience store, also in Corby.
Freeman then stole alcohol worth £430.50 from Asda in Northampton on February 5, 2022, £482 from Morrisons in the town six days later and £617 from Asda on March 3.
The 37-year-old also admitted theft of a £500 bike in Northampton on February 22.
His compensation bill totalled £2,870, including £200 for the assault victim, but magistrates chose to suspend the prison sentence “due to motivation to stop offending and work with probation.”
Freeman has already been given jail sentences totalling more than three years for a string of offences since 2018 when he landed a 62-week sentence for shoplifting and assault in Kingsthorpe.
He was also arrested and charged with theft after being chased down by police — helped by two passers-by — in Northampton in July 2019.
By 2020 he had appeared in court 54 times for a total of 221 offences and told the court he was 'not a particularly nice person generally'.