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A prolific shop thief has been jailed just two days after he violently assaulted an employee at the Co-op in Murston when he was caught stealing alcohol and food.

Jack Wiley, 28, visited the Church Road premises, on the outskirts of Sittingbourne, at around 3pm on Monday 22 January 2024, before walking out with bottles of lager and wine, as well as a sandwich.

He was followed outside by a member of staff, and Wiley responded by challenging him to try and retrieve the stolen items., but when the victim successfully snatched back the wine, Wiley started punching him repeatedly in the head.  

The assault continued, even after a member of public intervened to help try and restrain Wiley. He chased the victim back into the shop and after dragging him to the floor punched and kicked him before fleeing on foot.

Officers were called and Wiley from Faversham was quickly located and arrested following a search of the nearby area. He was charged with assault by beating and two counts of theft. The charges included a previous shoplifting offence on 15 December 2023, when he stole cleaning products from a Poundland, in Faversham.

On Wednesday 24 January, Wiley was remanded to appear before Medway Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, with an additional seven days added for breaching a previous suspended sentence. Wiley was ordered to pay £200 in compensation as well as £85 costs.

Inspector Barry Carr, of the Swale Victim Based Crime Team, said:

‘Prolific criminals like Wiley relentlessly target retailers with the sole intention of stealing high value items to either consume or sell.

‘Shoplifting is never a victimless crime and it can have a drastic effect on businesses, and there will be no let-up in our efforts to swiftly arrest and prosecute those who see stealing as part of a criminal lifestyle.’

By Ed

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