A PROLIFIC shoplifter told police he had AIDS before trying to bite and then spitting at an officer.

Mark Spragg has more than 100 previous convictions and has been given a jail sentence for his latest stealing spree. 

Spragg, of Madresfield Village, Madresfield, near Malvern, appeared on videolink to Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday (December 7). 

Eleanor Peart, prosecuting, told magistrates the 42-year-old's offending was so serious she was requesting he be banned from the Worcester and Malvern shops he stole from.

Worcester News: CASE: Mark Spragg outside Worcester Magistrates Court (picture 2022)CASE: Mark Spragg outside Worcester Magistrates Court (picture 2022) (Image: James Connell/Newsquest)

The court heard Spragg stole:

  • Two bottles of vodka, valued at £64, from Sainsbury's in Worcester on April 24
  • Baby clothing, valued at £150, from Next in Worcester on June 16
  • Tuna and steak from Tesco Express, Malvern, on July 25
  • Two socket sets and a spanner set valued at £165.97 from Halfords, Malvern, on August 5
  • A socket set, valued at £54, from Halfords on August 14

Worcester News: THEFT: Spragg stole from Halfords, MalvernTHEFT: Spragg stole from Halfords, Malvern (Image: Google)

  • Power drills from Lidl in Malvern on August 24
  • 10 jars of Nescafe coffee, valued at £60, from Sainsbury's in Worcester on September 3
  • Joints of meat, of unknown value, from Marks and Spencer, Malvern, on October 1
  • One Bosch power drill and hammer drill, worth £217, from B&Q in Malvern on November 10
  • Meat, cheese and washing products from Co-op, Malvern, on November 15

Spragg had admitted those 10 thefts as well as an attempted theft which took place at Sainsbury's in Worcester on April 25 when the defendant tried to steal £100 of meat joints.

Spragg also admitted common assault of an emergency worker.

That offence took place on August 24 when PC Rees was trying to take Spragg back into Lidl. 

The prosecutor said: "The defendant told the officer 'I have got aids I'm going to bite you', and attempted to bite him. 

"He then spat at the PC Rees, making no contact."

Spragg also admitted a public order offence, the defendant verbally abusing a person on October 23 in Malvern, and assault by beating - that offence taking place on August 14 in Malvern. 

Worcester News: CASE: Spragg appeared on videolink to Worcester Magistrates CourtCASE: Spragg appeared on videolink to Worcester Magistrates Court

Miss Peart said the offending was aggravated by Spragg's 162 previous convictions, 113 of which were thefts. 

Sarah Brady, defending, said: "The defendant is a long-term heroin addict that is the source.

"He has been an addict since the age of 14."

Mrs Brady urged magistrates to give Spragg a community order but added the defendant was realistic.

Peter Cound, chairman of the magistrates bench, told Spragg he would be jailed for 36 weeks. 

The chairman said the defendant could have been ordered to pay nearly £1,000 in compensation but, as they wanted to give a clean slate after leaving prison, they would not order this. 

Spragg was told to pay £130 compensation split between PC Rees and the other victims. 

Spragg also denies a theft and a public order offence alleged to have taken place in Malvern on September 7. 

The chairman told the defendant his trial on those matters would take place on January 24 at Kidderminster Magistrates Court.

The prosecution applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order to ban him from the shops but, as it is contested, a hearing will also needed for magistrates to decide if that will be enforced on him.