A “prolific offender” has breached his Romford town centre ban five days after it was made. 

Steven Ellis, 47, of Dunton Road in Romford, was given a three-year criminal behaviour order (CBO) on Thursday, June 27. 

The order banned Ellis from entering the town centre within the Romford ring road, including the Mercury Mall shopping centre. 

But last Tuesday (July 2) Ellis breached the order by entering the town centre without reasonable excuse. 

Ellis appeared at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court the following day (July 3) and pleaded guilty to the breach – he will be sentenced at a later date. 

Police said the order was made due to shoplifting at a town centre store. 

Ellis has also been banned from begging and must not cause anti-social behaviour, harassment, alarm and distress, nuisance or annoyance to anyone within Havering. 

Ellis was also given a suspended sentence for shoplifting so that any breach of the CBO, or another offence, could result in prison time. 

Sgt Alex Norrington, of the Safer Neighbourhood’s Police Team, called Ellis "a prolific offender in the Romford town area and the borough of Havering". 

"We are clear in our message that we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in Havering and will continue to take robust action when needed," Sgt Norrington added. 

The CBO order looks to divert Ellis into a drugs and alcohol programme, and to offer him support and prevent future offending.