A man from Harold Hill has been jailed within 24 hours of his latest crime after a series of shoplifting offences.

Dominic O’Sullivan, 42, of Hitchin Close, pleaded guilty to three counts of shoplifting after appearing at Southend-on-Sea Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (April 18).

He was sentenced to 21 weeks in prison.

O’Sullivan admitted to three counts of shoplifting at a BP garage in London Road in Rayleigh, Essex during April, where food and drink amounting to the value of £645 was taken.

Essex Police say that on each of the occasions O’Sullivan was wearing an orange high-viz jacket.

O’Sullivan was arrested following the third of these counts on Wednesday (April 17), after staff witnessed he had “concealed cans of alcohol” before leaving the shop.

Police were alerted by staff members and an on-duty police officer who was at the garage followed O’Sullivan before stopping him.

O’Sullivan admitted to the officer that he hadn’t paid for the items and he was arrested shortly before 3.30pm on the same day.

Police Sergeant Paul Restall, of Rayleigh's Local Policing Team, said:"Business theft is not a victimless crime and we will do all we can to support the business community by arresting and bringing offenders before the court.

"In this case, thanks to the alertness of staff who told our officer, it was less than 24 hours between Dominic O’Sullivan committing the crime and being sentenced at court."