A prolific shoplifter with dozens of previous offences has been jailed for a spree targeting stores in Norwich.

Lee Emery, 33, appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court to be sentenced after previously pleading guilty to 13 offences of shop theft. 

Prosecutor Sally Harris said his offences had been unsophisticated and had involved him placing items into a bag before leaving.

It had resulted in losses in the hundreds of pounds to Tesco, the Co-Op and TK Maxx, she added.

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The court was told all the offences had occurred while he was on licence after a previous prison sentence and were also a breach of a conditional discharge imposed by the court last November. 

Emery, of William White Place, Norwich, has 79 previous convictions including 53 for theft.  

Emma Lloyd, mitigating, said: “The thefts are out of desperation. He had very little money, nowhere to live and needed to eat. No violence was involved."

Jailing him for 14 weeks magistrates said his offences had been aggravated by the large number of his previous record. They also ordered he pay £561 compensation.