RADIO 4’s Voices from the Old Bailey series informs, or reminds, us that shoplifters of old were liable to be transported to the colonies, or even hanged, if the value of their haul exceeded five shillings.

Harsh perhaps, but if sentences of such severity were handed out today by our so-called justice system I am sure that honest shoppers would be spared having to subsidise the smirking career criminals who regularly star in their own documentaries, in which they eagerly flaunt their swag and gleefully recount their tales of outwitting shop owners and the police.

Cue violin!

T J HICKMAN, Southampton.