A shoplifter has been jailed and fined more than £3,300 after a string of thefts from Welwyn Garden City's John Lewis store.

Paul Clark, of no fixed abode in Welwyn Hatfield, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment at St Albans Magistrates’ Court yesterday (March 11).

The 41-year-old must also pay compensation of £3,376.39, as well as being issued with a Community Protection Notice.

The court heard that Clark stole perfume from John Lewis thirteen times between December 2023 and February 2024, totalling an estimated £1,500. On another occasion he also stole from Boots in The Howard Centre.

"We take a strong stance against shoplifting and I hope this news reassures local businesses," said PC Cameron Abraham, from the Welwyn Hatfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, who led the investigation.

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"As well as working hard to get offenders prosecuted, we continue to meet with businesses to help prevent and deter criminals from targeting them.

"This court result is timely as throughout March we’re reinforcing our commitment to tackling retail crime.

"We’re taking part in the national month of action to tackle retail crime, an initiative introduced by the National Business Crime Centre. On Friday, we hosted a crime prevention stall within John Lewis for local businesses and shop workers to come along for advice.

"We’re hosting another stall at the store on Saturday, March 23, between midday and 3pm. It will be an opportunity for John Lewis staff and other local business owners and workers to find out more about how they can keep safe from crimes such as theft and violence against shop workers."