Violent Gosport shoplifter pays for washing and meat item thefts with jail

A violent Gosport shoplifter has paid for washing and meat item thefts with a jail term.
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Aaron Smethurst, 38, of Old Road, was charged with the following offences, all of which he pleaded guilty to at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 27 February:

  • Theft of £63.60 worth of coffee and washing products from Spar in Rowner Road on 7 December 2023.
  • Theft of £102.29 worth of washing products from Spar in Rowner Road on 9 December 2023.
  • Theft of £39.83 worth of meat from Spar in Rowner Road on 11 December 2023.
  • Theft of £70.93 of washing products and coffee from Spar in Rowner Road on 14 December 2023.
  • Theft of £295.50 worth of meat and peanut butter from Spar in Rowner Road on 18 December 2023.
  • Theft of £12 worth of tea bags from Spar in Rowner Road on 13 February this year.
  • Assault by beating at Spar in Rowner Road on 13 February this year. Smethurst pushed a woman out of the way as he left the store after stealing.
  • Common assault against a second woman at Spar in Rowner Road in 13 February this year, whereby Smethurst threatened to headbutt the victim.

Magistrates jailed him for 16 weeks. "Neighbourhood Policing Teams put victims first by responding to and investigating thefts from shops, targeting shoplifters, and we will be relentlessly pursuing those that are abusive or violent to staff or who are repeat offenders," a police spokesperson said.

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Chief Inspector Chris Spellerberg, District Commander for Fareham & Gosport, said: “Shoplifting is not a victimless offence. We recognise that repeat shoplifting in particular creates an environment of fear for many retail workers. As a result they may feel unsafe and unprotected in their own workplaces. In addition, store owners losing products to thieves means that they not only lose the profit margin, but the entire value of the product. This in turn will impact prices for consumers.

“The Neighbourhood Policing Teams in Gosport are continuing to focus on retail crime across the borough so that we can address the concerns of the local community and retailers that serve them”.

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