Prolific thief told he could face prison term

Taxi driver assaulted by youth with knife in Southsea

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SHOPLIFTER Stephen Wall has been warned he could go to jail for stealing £600 worth of alcohol from Waitrose.

The 47-year-old, of Battenburg Avenue, Copnor, Portsmouth, took bottles of spirits from the store in Waterlooville.

He was caught on CCTV and arrested but denied the offence.

Wall, of Montgomerie Road, Southsea, who has previous convictions for shoplifting, was due to stand trial at Portsmouth Crown Court yesterday but he changed his plea to guilty at the last minute.

Barry McElduff, defending, asked the judge to adjourn the case to give time for the probation service to carry out a pre-sentence report.

‘There’s considerable mitigation around the commission of this offence and his case would be greatly assisted by preparation of such a report,’ he said.

Recorder John Trevaskis released Wall on bail to be sentenced next month.

He told Wall: ‘I have to warn you in adjourning the matter I am keeping all options open as far as the court is concerned.

‘The eventual sentence may be a custodial sentence.’