Serial offender back behind bars

A Mansfield man is back behind bars after committing shop thefts days after being released from prison, police have revealed.

Lee Vernon Wightman (39) of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to theft and of breaching the terms of an Antisocial Behaviour Order (ASBO) banning him from Mansfield retail parks.

At Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 3rd September he was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison.

The court heard that on Sunday 30th August and Monday 1st September, Wightman (pictured) had stolen items of clothing from Peacock’s in St Peter’s Retail Park, Mansfield. He was identified as the offender, arrested and charged with theft and for breaching the ASBO on two occasions.

PC Colin Kirkup said: “We have worked hard, along with our partners, to give Wightman help, support and alternatives to crime.

“The ASBO imposed on him in June was designed to prevent him entering the retail parks.

“But sadly just days after leaving prison he has committed theft and breached this ASBO showing he has no interest in acting within the law.

“We have a duty to allow people to go about their daily business without fear of becoming a victim of crime. I hope this sentence shows that we work hard to make our town centre a pleasant place to be.”

In June Chad reported how Wightman had been given the ASBO after notching up more than 80 court appearances, in a bid to curb his behaviour.

Despite periods of imprisonment Wightman had continued to re-offend, committing acts of theft and being verbally abusive and aggressive, police said.

On one occasion he threatened staff in Boots, St Peter’s Retail Park, causing him to be banned from entering every Boots store in the country.

He has also threatened staff and customers in numerous other shops across the town including Curry’s, Poundland, Poundstretcher, SCS, Aldi and Dunelm Mills, as well as users of Titchfield Park.

On one occasion Wightman threatened to torch a shop building and on another he threw a rock at a car.

Coun Mick Barton, portfolio holder for public protection at Mansfield District Council, said in June: “The council is pleased that this ASBO has been granted. This individual has carried out a series of antisocial, threatening and intimidating acts in our District which workers and members of the public should not have to put up with.

“The authorities have worked in partnership to obtain this ASBO and send out a clear message that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in Mansfield.”

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