'Professional' Northampton shoplifter who has committed 220 crimes admits he's 'not a nice person'

Northampton criminal Richard Freeman is back behind bars
Northampton criminal Richard Freeman is back behind bars

A man with 'reams and reams' of convictions has been imprisoned after trying to rob a bike from a shop in Northampton.

Class-A drug addict Richard Freeman was jailed on Friday (January 10) after a court heard how the 35-year-old had walked into Newlec Cycles in St James's Road on July 3 last year.

Despite a not-guilty plea to robbery, a jury at Northampton Crown Court trial decided that Freeman had told owner Nathan Pell that he 'didn't want to harm him' while searching in his trousers for what shop employees believed could have been a weapon.

That incident was just a day before he was due to be sentenced for previous crimes - for which he received a suspended prison sentence of 20 months on July 4.

But that didn't deter Freeman, who gave his official address as HMP Peterborough, who was disturbed while burgling the Old Five Bells Pub in Harborough Road two days later on July 6, an offence he admitted in court.

The court heard how Freeman was a 'professional' shoplifter had previously got off the drugs but had relapsed after his grandmother died and he lost his job. He admitted in court that he was 'not a particularly nice person generally.'

He also admitted three shoplifting offences at Asda in June - a shop from which he is banned. In total he stole alcohol worth nearly £800 and razor blades worth £362.

The court heard how Freeman had been addicted to class-A substances since the age of 14 and had 'reams and reams' of convictions including assault, burglary, shoplifting, knife possession and public order offences. He has appeared in court 54 times for a total of 221 offences.

Following his trial on Friday, Her Honour Rebecca Crane said that she had taken into account that he had written letters apologising to the most recent victims of his crimes.

She ordered him to spend a total of two years and three months in prison: 14-months for the robbery; nine months for the burglary; four months of which was the activation of a previous suspended sentence plus six months for each of the shoplifting sentences to be served concurrently with the other sentences.