The campaign to protect west Kent businesses has continued after a prolific shoplifter was banned from entering areas of Sevenoaks and Swanley.

The restrictions were contained in a criminal behaviour order imposed on Rae Stephenson, when he was sentenced at Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court.

At a previous hearing, Stephenson had pleaded guilty to stealing spirits totalling more than £1,700 from an Asda store in London Road, Swanley, during eight separate incidents between 13 March and 6 April 2023. He had been arrested on Tuesday 12 September in the Petts Wood area of Greater London, following an investigation by the West Kent Victim Based Crime Team. Stephenson, of High Street, Snodland was later charged with multiple thefts and remanded to court.

On Thursday 21 September 2023, the 48-year-old received an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also required to undergo drugs rehabilitation over a twelve month period.

Police Sergeant Dan Bartlett said: ‘In addition to a suspended prison sentence, the court imposed a criminal behaviour order on Stephenson that bans him from entering specified areas of Sevenoaks and Swanley town centres for a period of five years. He is also required to leave any shop if requested by a member of staff or other employee.

‘These restrictions protect local business from the scourge of shoplifting. Local officers, who know Stephenson, will work with store employees to swiftly bring him back before the court, if he chooses to breach any of the conditions contained in the order.’

By Ed

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