TODAY'S Crime Files comes from December 2019, when two brothers from Worcester were caught red-handed stealing from Malvern Retail Park.

John Francis and his brother Richard were caught in the act having stolen from Malvern Retail Park.

The two had been on an hour-long theft spree, stealing meat, razor blades and clothes among other items in November 2019.

They were spotted in the car park loading their recently stolen items in broad daylight, and their details were passed onto police, who arrested them just a short distance down the road.

READ MORE: How we covered the case at the time

In the car, officers found two packets of razor blades worth £41.99, 14 packets of pruning blades worth £158.78, three pairs of shoes worth £189, gloves worth £38.97 and beef steaks worth £54.98.

The goods had been stolen from the Boots, B&Q, Shoe Zone and Mountain Warehouse, and the brothers were arrested shortly after stealing them in a one-hour period between 2pm and 3pm.

Ralph Robyn-Landricombe, prosecuting, said: “For John Francis there are 13 matters on the record, the most recent coming for theft in January 2018.

“For Richard, there are 29 matters on record, the last putting him in breach of a conditional discharge from earlier this year.

"There is no order for compensation to be made as all the items were returned to the stores.”

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The brothers, from Wylds Lane, pleaded guilty to the offences, which happened on November 19, and probation staff told the court they had a history of drug addiction and were unable to work.

They said: “It won’t surprise you that there is a history of drug use.

"They had taken valium on the day the offences happened and they made the decision to commit these offences either in order to fund their drug use or through lack of emotional control.

"Neither of them are fit for work given their drug use.”

The court heard how Richard Francis, 46, had been a heroin addict for more than a decade and how his 42 year-old brother John had been a heroin addict for 18 years.

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The probation report also mentioned how the two suffer from anxiety and depression as well as leg ulcers, meaning they were unsuitable both physically and mentally for any work-related punishment.

The court heard in their defence that, on the day the offences took place, the brothers had found out their father had lung cancer and did not have long to live.

Gurdeep Singh, defending, said this had led them back to drugs.

Mr Singh said: “They had not offended for more than a year, but a lot of the reason why they were into drugs again was that they had been told by their father that he had lung cancer.

"They took the news terribly and relapsed back into drugs.”

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The total value of the goods stolen by the two brothers works out at £483.72, but only a limited financial penalty was awarded due to the pair’s financial state.

David Shadwell, chairman of the magistrates bench, said: “Looking at the totality of this, you have each got a 12-month community order.

“In addition to that, you are both going to do 20 RAR (rehabilitation activity requirement) days concentrating on thinking skills, decision making, working with people and linking all that to drug use.

“We are going to do something unusual here in that you will both get an exclusion zone from Malvern Retail Park.

"For for the next 12 months you cannot go there.”

The brothers were each also ordered to pay £275 in costs and a victim surcharge.