A 47-YEAR-old prolific thief's chances ran out as he was jailed for stealing coats worth hundreds of pounds. 

Magistrates heard Robert Gibson, Warmstry Court, Quay Street, Worcester, stole the coats to sell them as he was struggling financially just before Christmas.

But magistrates still decided to jail him as he ignored previous warnings he would be sent to custody if he reoffended. 

Fatima Yasmin, prosecuting, said Gibson selected a coat from House of Fraser, worth £400, concealing it in a bag before walking out of the Crowngate Shopping Centre store.

Worcester News: COURT: Robert Gibson leaving Worcester Magistrates CourtCOURT: Robert Gibson leaving Worcester Magistrates Court (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)

That theft took place on December 17 and just four days later Gibson was stealing again, this time from St Peters Garden Centre where he took two coats, worth £200, hiding one under his own coat on his arm. 

The other was placed in a bag and Gibson accessed a rear part of the Norton Road-based centre before throwing the bag over a fence. 

Miss Yasmin said Gibson was in breach of the suspended sentence given to him last September - 18 weeks suspended for two years.

Worcester News: COUT: Robert Gibson appeared at Worcester Magistrates CourtCOUT: Robert Gibson appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court

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We covered that case in which magistrates heard Gibson stole a golf club and went on a Waitrose "trolley dash" stealing spree last August. 

The prosecutor added Gibson, who has suffered with a heroin addiction for a number of years, committed more than 120 theft offences.

Mark Turnbull, defending, highlighted the dates, pointing out they were just before Christmas. 

The solicitor said Gibson had "succumbed to temptation" as it was a few days before he received his benefits and was struggling financially.

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Mr Turnbull also conceded that Gibson had lost contact with the probation service when he was meant to be attending appointments as part of his order. 

Mr Turnbull said it was because Gibson suffered with his mental health and depression in recent months.

Magistrates left the court for deliberations returning more than half hour later.

When they returned Dr Carys Clarke, chairman of the magistrates bench, said they had decided to activate the suspended sentence.

The chairman said he would receive eight weeks for each offence, to run concurrently, and explained in total Gibson would go to prison for 26 weeks.

Gibson was ordered to pay £400 compensation to House of Fraser and £200 to St Peters Garden Centre. 

He was also told to pay £154 victim surcharge.  

The £754 total was added to the more than 3,000 he already owes.