A TOTTON man has been jailed for 12 months following a prolific shoplifting spree.

Liberty George Cooper, 49, of Ashby Road in Totton, has been jailed for 12 months after admitting to a number of charges in relation to burglaries across the New Forest.

Cooper pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from a shop. These incidents occurred between June 27 and July 16 at various locations in the Totton including Commercial Road and Ringwood Rood, as well as Hampton Lane in the Blackfield area.

Salisbury Crown Court heard how Cooper begun his spree of offending on Sunday, July 27, where he was seen to enter a Tesco Express store on Hampton Lane, put £100 worth of meat produce in a basket and promptly left the store without paying.

He continued his offending when he stole a pet harness valued at approximately £40 from a pet store in Totton Retail Park on Tuesday, July 13.

Then three days later – on Friday, July 16 - Cooper was seen to steal flea tablets worth almost £40 from a pet store on Ringwood Road.

Liberty George Cooper pleaded guilty to these offences and was handed a sentence of 12 months imprisonment on Tuesday, November 23.

Following the sentencing, Acting Police Sergeant Richard Diggins, said: “Cooper was a prolific shoplifter, who survived on committing these crimes until we were able to apprehend him and put a stop to his offending. Theft, of any kind, can cause untold issues for those businesses, whose livelihoods can be significantly impacted by this type of crime.

“We hope that this shows communities across Hampshire that thieves like Cooper will face justice.”