Kettering thief who threatened to smash man's head in is sent back to prison

He was only released two weeks ago

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 12:53 pm
Ricky Long.

A thief who threatened to smash a man's head in at a Kettering service station is back behind bars just two weeks after he was released from prison.

Career criminal Ricky Long was deemed so likely to steal that he was banned from entering dozens of shops in Kettering and Corby last year in a bid to deter him.

He was jailed and released on licence just before Christmas - but found himself staring at the walls of a police cell again on Sunday (January 3).

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Yesterday (Monday) Northampton Magistrates' Court heard the 34-year-old, of no fixed address, was caught on CCTV stealing items from the Tesco Express in Kettering's London Road at about 2pm.

He threatened staff when he was challenged before fleeing, but was soon arrested.

Prosecuting, Jerena Tomaszewska said: "Police caught up with him not too far away with a plastic bag containing 11 blocks of cheese and some salmon."

Even visiting the Tesco was a breach of a criminal behaviour order imposed upon him and Long was held overnight in custody.

There he was charged with the theft and breach of a criminal behaviour, as well as a separate theft which took place at about 6.30pm on June 29 last year.

The court heard Long, accompanied by another man, had walked into BP Services on the A14 westbound at Kettering.

A witness saw Long stealing five bottles of Champagne worth £150 and stopped him as he tried to leave the shop.

Ms Tomaszewska said: "He (Long) then started to threaten him, stating he was going to smash his head in."

Long, who has a drug dependence, admitted all charges facing him yesterday.

Mitigating, Retesh Vela asked magistrates to give Long a second opportunity.

He said Long had been left without accommodation or benefits over the festive period after he was released from prison, leaving him without food or drink.

Mr Vela said: "He is someone who is extremely vulnerable who will struggle if he does not have his accommodation or his benefits."

The court heard Long will be recalled to prison for a fixed term of 28 days to serve some of his previous sentence.

Magistrates decided not to extend his prison term beyond 28 days with another immediate custodial sentence.

He was instead handed a six-week sentence suspended for a year for the BP and Tesco thefts.

Chairman of the bench Romanos Daskalou told Long: "Whenever you come out of prison you will have that hanging over you for a year...you need to think long and hard about what is going to happen to you."

Long must also pay £41.95 in compensation to Tesco.

Last year police released Long's image and asked anyone who saw him flouting the criminal behaviour order to call them.

Under the order, which was made for three years, Long is barred from entering retail premises in certain parts of the county, including Kettering's town centre and the area around Stanier Close off Northfield Avenue.

He is also banned from entering any Co-op in Corby and Kettering, and any BP or Tesco store in Kettering.