Prolific Winsford shoplifter jailed and handed Criminal Behaviour Order
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A prolific shoplifter from Winsford has been jailed and handed a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
Michael Hill, of Alexandra Square, has been convicted of more than 70 offences. The majority of them were shoplifting offences.
The 34-year-old has also been convicted of public order offences in relation to abusive and threatening behaviour towards staff working at the shops he targets.
Hill was sentenced at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on Monday 7 December for his most recent crimes.
He was also given a five-year CBO in a bid to curb his offending.
Sergeant Gary Weaver said:
“Michael Hill is a prolific shoplifter who steals alcohol to feed his addiction to it.
“He is also someone who alarms and scares shop workers by shouting, swearing and being aggressive, intimidating and threatening towards them.
“Hill threatened someone working at a discount store in Dingle Walk, Winsford, on Thursday 26 November, asking him to ‘come outside’ and saying he will ‘knock him out’.
“Then on Wednesday 2 December he twice stole two bottles of wine from a convenience store in Abbotts Way, Winsford.
“He returned to the convenience store the following day to steal another two bottles of wine.
“Hill was identified as the offender via CCTV footage and was subsequently arrested and charged with three counts of theft from a shop, as well as a public order offence in relation to threatening the store worker.
“He pleaded guilty to what are the latest of his numerous offences and was jailed for 12 weeks.
“When he is released from prison, he will have to adhere to the terms of his CBO for the next five years.”
CBOs are designed to stop persistent offenders committing further anti-social behaviour and criminal offences.
They are only ever applied for and imposed as a last resort.
Sgt Weaver added: “Hill has plagued shops in Winsford with his criminal behaviour.
“No-one should feel threatened or intimidated by the actions of others and we will use whatever powers we have at our disposal to tackle such offending.
“With all other efforts to prevent and deter Hill from continuing to commit offences having failed, our Partnership Problem Solving Team applied for the CBO.
“There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough and take additional action to protect the local community.”
The banning order prohibits Hill from:
Entering any retail premises in Winsford that are licensed to sell alcohol
Being in possession of an open container of alcohol in a public place in Winsford
Being drunk in a public place in Winsford.
He also has to engage with a charity that specialises in drug and alcohol addiction.
Police Constable Terry Cawley, who applied for the CBO on behalf of the Partnership Problem Solving Team, said: “I hope the CBO imposed by Crewe Magistrates’ Court has the desired effect and prevents shops in Winsford from being targeted by this prolific shoplifter who has persistently shown no consideration at all for the effects his unacceptable behaviour has on shop workers.
“I also hope that Hill changes his ways, for the good of himself as well as for the good of those who own or work at shops in Winsford.”
Hill has been made aware that it is a criminal offence to breach the terms of a CBO.
The sanctions imposed for doing so can be severe, with the maximum penalty being five years in prison.
David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “This successful CBO application sends a clear message that persistent criminal behaviour will not be tolerated in Winsford
"Applied for separately to prosecutions for criminal offences, these preventative orders with strict restrictions are one of numerous tools that Cheshire Constabulary uses in a bid to improve our communities.
“They are having the desired effect of reducing offending, the number of victims of crime and the demand on the police and I hope that this continues.”
Anyone who encounters Hill breaching the terms of his CBO over the next five years is asked to contact Cheshire Constabulary on 101 to report it.