A repeat shoplifter from Harold Hill has been banned from entering Co-op stores in Brentwood.

Geoff Hayward, 43, of North Hill Drive, was charged after a probe by Brentwood Local Policing team into five thefts in supermarkets.

These included thefts from Co-op stores in Shenfield and Pilgrims Hatch in October last year and February this year.

Essex Police said during each incident Hayward was seen on CCTV taking items like meat and cleaning products from the stores without paying.

Read More: Upminster man jailed for robbing elderly couple in Brentwood

On Tuesday (February 20), officers arrested Hayward after he was detained at the store. He reportedly refused to answer any questions in the interview, but due to strong evidence against him was charged with five counts of theft that he admitted in court.

He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (February 27) when he was sentenced to a community order and prohibited from entering Brentwood Co-op stores for six months.

He has also been ordered to pay £382 in compensation.

Officer in the case, PC Maisey Ringshall, of Brentwood Local Policing Team, said Hayward could be arrested and face jail if he carries out an offence again.

She added: “It is vital shops and business in Brentwood know we work to support them and keep them safe from offenders like Hayward.

“Shop theft is never a victimless or minor crime, it has a profound impact upon staff who shouldn’t have to deal with such offending while going about their jobs.

“Where we see repeat offending taking place, we will act to put shoplifters before the courts”.