PROLIFIC thief Alan Knott, who causes misery “wherever he goes”, has been given one last chance to stop stealing.
The heroin addict stole the last of a single mum’s money when he snuck into the staff room of a Co-op store at Hillview Road in Hucclecote and took phones and wallets belonging to workers.
Gloucester Crown Court heard on Monday the 34-year-old was coming to the end of 12-week jail sentence for a separate theft of a phone on September 2 this year.
The probation service was said to have been impressed with Knott’s change of attitude while in prison and so Judge Jamie Tabor QC said he was minded not to immediately jail him for the staff room theft.
Judge Tabor said: “Releasing him at 7pm on Christmas Eve with no support around him will be an absolute disaster.”
But the court heard police from Gloucestershire’s prolific offending team would be there to meet Knott when he was released from prison on December 24.
On hearing that, Judge Tabor agreed to defer sentencing until April 18 to give him a chance to stay out of trouble.
He told Knott: “You have been committing criminal offences all your life and the public are fed up with it and I am fed up with it.
“The only decision is whether to give you a chance to sort your life out.
“I make it absolutely plain this is your one and only chance and you will not get another from me.
“Anymore slipping into staff rooms and stealing purses and I will be merciless.”
The court heard Knott of Swindon Road in Cheltenham had 39 previous convictions for 110 offences.
Tim Greaves, in mitigation, said: “His whole record gives the impression of a hopeless man, but I think there is hope.
“He believes he has someone backing him and supporting him. He sees this as an opportunity.”
Gloucester Crown Court previously heard Knott described as a “creeper” and opportunistic burglar.
He pleaded guilty to one count of burglary at Gloucester Crown Court after he ignored “staff only” signs in the store on October 22.
From the staff room, he took mobile phones of workers and their wallets, leaving one member of staff, single mum Susan McNab, struggling to survive with the last of her week’s money gone.
Judge Tabor QC told Knott at a previous hearing he was “causing misery wherever he goes”.