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Prolific Burnley offender walks free after shoplifting
4:15pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
A ONE-TIME prolific crook who went shoplifting within about a week of a suspended jail term, has walked free from court again.
Father-of-nine George Barnes, 48, had been given eight months in prison, suspended for two years, with 12 months' supervision and a six months drugs programme last November, after being involved in a £10,000 house raid.
Burnley Crown Court had then been told how Barnes had stripped copper from an empty house and his partner had thrown him out.
The court had heard how Barnes, who has been offending since he was 11 and has more than 70 convictions, had not been in trouble for five years before the burglary.
Barnes was back in the dock again on Monday, when a judge was told he had stolen gift sets worth £30 from Marks and Spencer last December 6 and items worth £17.99 from Sports Direct on December 21. He had put his freedom at risk in doing so and a judge told him he was an 'idiot.'
The defendant, who is still homeless and is said to live on the streets or sleep on sofas, had admitted two counts of theft and had been committed for sentence by Pennine magistrates. Barnes, care of Pine Street, Burnley, was given a six month conditional discharge and the suspended sentence will continue.