‘Prolific shop thief’ with more than 180 offences back in court after supermarket raid

A career criminal labelled a “prolific shop thief” by his own solicitor was caught pinching £530 of goods from a Washington supermarket – his 182nd offence.

George Henderson, 46, was stopped by security staff as he fled with a trolly load of razor blades and make-up from Sainsbury’s at the Galleries retail centre.

Henderson, of Stretford Court, Allerdene, Gateshead, spat at his apprehenders and made threats, South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Prosecutor April Hall said the crook, whose offending tally started in 1992, was seen entering the outlet at 4.11pm on Saturday, July 16.

The Sainsbury's store at the Galleries in Washington.

She added: “A witness statement from store security states that the defendant proceeded to collect razor blades and makeup.

“They recognised him from a high value theft on July 14. He headed towards the exit but was detained.

“He did try to run off but was stopped. He spat at staff and made threats.

“He has 182 offences, 80 which are similar and date back to 1992. This offence is aggravated by his previous convictions.”

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Henderson pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from a shop.

Alastair Naismith, defending, said: “Mr Henderson, I don’t think, would take any objection to being described as a prolific shop thief, or at least he was until 2019.

“Since then, he’s had intervention from mental health workers and drugs support.

“There has been a definite slowdown in his offending. He says he has little or no recollection of this offence.

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“He had been making changes to his medication. His medication is now sorted out.

“There are some threats issued but that was outside the store.

“There’s been a gap in his offending, and he’s taken steps to adjust his lifestyle.”

District Judge Zoe Passfield fined Henderson £120, with £85 court costs and a £48 victim surcharge.

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She told him: “It’s a real shame to see you back in court when you’ve stayed out of trouble for so long.”