Drug addict serial shoplifter jailed after crime spree

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Alastair Gordon outside court in 2015

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A DRUG-ADDICTED serial shoplifter who went on the run from police after being caught red-handed and armed with a knuckle duster is behind bars.

Lewis Healy went shoplifting on the day he was released from prison, stealing £13 of alcohol from a Tesco store in Cosham.

He was arrested on July 19 after security staff caught him with £279 of make-up he had just stolen from a Boots store in Fareham.

During a search Healy, 24, who has convictions for 48 previous offences, was found to have a knuckle duster on him.

He was bailed but a warrant was issued for his arrest after he failed to answer bail on August 6.

Only a day later a police officer spotted Healy near Asda at The Bridge Centre in Fratton and arrested him.

Recorder Anne Arnold, sentencing at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘Because you were compliant the officer perfectly appropriately took the view it was unnecessary to handcuff you.’

But Healy seized the opportunity and fled the scene, remaining at large for nine days until police arrested him on August 16.

Healy’s crime spree continued and he was later arrested and bailed after stealing a £57 bottle of aftershave from Debenhams in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, two days after his release.

He was arrested but bailed again.

Yet only a day later he was caught in possession of a wrap of heroin and remanded in custody.

Healy admitted one count of escaping custody, three counts of theft, one count of possessing an offensive weapon, one of failing to surrender and one of possessing a class A drug.

Healy, of Almondsbury Road, Paulsgrove, also admitted breaching a two-year conditional discharge imposed for assaulting a police officer.

Sentencing Healy to 361 days in jail, Recorder Anne Arnold said: ‘The catalogue of offences that appear before the court for sentence are so serious in your case as to justify only a custodial sentence.’

An order was made for the knuckle duster and heroin to be forfeited and destroyed.