Homeless Sunderland thief jailed again – after pleading to be locked up

John Lee Paul Morrison, of no fixed address, dob 20/02/1977.

John Lee Paul Morrison, of no fixed address, dob 20/02/1977.

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A homeless man is now serving his third prison sentence this year after he asked a court to lock him up again.

John Lee Paul Morrison was given a six-week jail term after he admitted one shop theft and asked for another to be taken into consideration.

It’s with regret for me professionally that Mr Morrison is today asking to go to custody. He’s served two custodial sentences for shop theft this year

Gerry Scott, defending

Sunderland magistrates heard how the 38-year-old has 92 previous convictions for 146 offences – 35 of which are thefts.

Prosecutor John McGlone said Morrison went into Poundland, in Sunderland city centre, at 9.30am on October 8.

He was seen filling a plastic bag with bacon and chocolate, the court heard, before running out of the store and along Blandford Street, towards Park Lane, where he was apprehended and asked to return to the store.

He was arrested and charged, also asking for a theft of £16 worth of goods from Iceland to be taken into consideration.

Gerry Scott, defending, said: “It’s with regret for me professionally that Mr Morrison is today asking to go into custody. He’s served two custodial sentences for shop theft this year. The position is that Mr Morrison is homeless. He’s living on the street. He’s got no funds of any type.

“He is trying to claim Job Seekers’ Allowance, that has been stopped.

“He cannot comply with any probation order. It is difficult to see how he can comply with any intervention other than custody, given his current predicament.”

In addition to his sentence, Morrison was told to serve eight days concurrent in lieu of £230 of outstanding fines being written off.

He was also told to pay £48 compensation to Poundland and £8 to Iceland, along with a £24 victim surcharge and £150 criminal courts charge.