A NOTORIOUS Carlisle shoplifter is back behind bars after he stole alcohol from a city centre store and was then chased and caught by security staff.

Peter Martin Vickers, 43, whose criminal record of 223 previous offences includes convictions for drugs possession and dealing and numerous shop thefts, admitted theft, going equipped for theft, and breaching his Criminal Behaviour Order.

He committed the offence on December 17 last year after going into the B&M Bargains store in the city centre – one of the shops from which he is banned, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

“He was carrying a bag for life,” said the prosecutor Tom Challinor. “He made his way towards the alcohol section and took various bottles worth £25 and he then left the shop and went on to the street.” He ran away but was pursued by security staff who managed to catch him.

When searched, he was found to be carrying a modified pair of tweezers – something he used to help him cut away packaging from the goods he wanted to steal. Mr Challinor said the defendant’s criminal history stretched back more than 30 years.

His jail sentences had got longer and longer, the court heard.

Those convictions included an offence of possessing heroin with intent to supply. He also had a history of disobeying court orders. The court heard that Vickers’ home had been raided a few days before the offence.

The officers had seized a white powder – which turned out to be toothpaste powder – and money believing it was profit from drugs crime. His offending that day was motivated by him having a lack of funds, the court heard.

He had visited a local foodbank with a voucher for provisions but when he arrived it was closed, the court heard.

The defendant also had a history of drug dependency. Recorder Richard Archer described the defendant’s criminal record as “appalling.”

He noted that Vickers had offended every year for the last three decades with the exception of those periods when he was serving long jail sentences.

Referring to the defendant’s drug problem, the Recorder added: “These frequent custodial sentences are merely sticking plaster for what lies behind your offending. But the motivation is not there at the moment for you to deal with those underlying problems.”

He imposed a 38-week jail term.