A PROLIFIC Winchester thief has been jailed for stealing more than £6,700 worth of tobacco, scratch cards, plastic lighters and sweets from WHSmith.

Kell Phra-Bang Andrews, of Hyde Gate, was sentenced to 26 weeks behind bars after pleading guilty to three offences at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, July 27.

The bench heard that on April 26 he stole salmon, wine, gin, chocolate, sandwiches and energy drinks to the value of £300 from Tesco in Winchester High Street. He also assaulted Anthony Jackson while in the store.

A day later, the 42-year-old entered WHSmith as a trespasser and stole tobacco items, scratch cards, plastic lighters and confectionary to the value of £6,752.

Sentencing Andrews, magistrates said the offence was so serious because of the high value and serious loss to the owner against a background of previous offending. He was ordered to pay £150 in compensation to the shop. Andrews was further committed to prison for 12 weeks - which will be served concurrently - and made to pay compensation of £100 for the assault.

No separate penalty was imposed for the items he stole from Tesco. The bench also opted against an order for costs due to his 'limited means', instead concluding the compensation payments should take priority. Andrews has until December 1 to pay the full amount of £250.

His guilty plea was taken into account while imposing the sentence.

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