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Blackburn: Tesco shoplifting sentence suspended due to prison coronavirus regime

A MAN was given an eight-week prison sentence for shoplifting, suspended for eight months due to Covid pressures on prisons.

Preston Magistrates Court heard that James Christopher Leigh, 47, of no fixed abode, had stolen various items worth a total of £153.10 from Blackburn’s branch of Tesco on May 1.

Mr Leigh pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to eight weeks in prison.

The court heard that the sentence was imposed due to Mr Leigh’s previous record of similar offences, however, his guilty plea was taken into account.

Despite this, the sentence was suspended for eight months due to the current Covid-19 restrictions in place in UK prisons.

Mr Leigh was also ordered to pay a surcharge of £128 due to his failure to surrender to custody at Lancashire Magistrates’ Court in Preston.

The surcharge was ruled to fund victim services, however no costs were imposed due to Mr Leigh’s limited means.