A BRAZEN thief who stole a tree from outside a martial arts centre in Southampton has been jailed.

Jordan Andrew Cox stole an £80 Acer tree belonging to the UK Shaolin Temple, based on Pitt Road, Southampton.

The theft, which took place on May 25, was caught on CCTV.

The video shows Cox taking the potted tree from outside the temple, before loading it into a silver car.

The 23-year-old is then seen walking into an alleyway, while the vehicle drives off.

Appearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, Cox, pleaded guilty to the theft, along with a handful of other offences.

The court heard on April 12, Cox stole three Easter eggs to the value of £24 from Tesco’s Express.

On April 13, Cox jointly with another defendant stole lightning, bedding and a memory foam mattress worth £98.95 belonging to Poundstretchers at Totton retail park.

Then, on July 22, he stole various food items from Co-Op in Romsey.

In the following month, on August 4, Cox stole two desk fans, worth £23.98 from Poundland in Commercial Road, Totton.

In total, Cox pleaded guilty to five thefts.

He also pleaded guilty to failing to comply with post-custodial supervision requirements from his last prison sentence.

Magistrates jailed Cox, of Hayward Close, Totton, to a total of 21 days in prison.

The UK Shaolin Temple in Southampton is a sanctuary aiming to preserve Chinese culture through physical activity, including martial arts, festivals and various wellbeing events.

The group are behind the Chinese New Year Celebrations in Southampton.

Speaking at the time of the theft, a spokesperson said the plants were there to make the temple “welcoming”.

The spokesperson added: “It is quite shocking that somebody would want to steal from us, for both the members and the local community.

“This is a peaceful sanctuary where people come to feel better in themselves.”