Man armed with knife stole Jack Daniels and vodka from Sainsbury's and Asda

Thomas Hyde has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Credit: Sussex Police

A man who stole goods including Jack Daniels and cigarettes from Sainsbury's and Asda in St Leonards while armed with a knife has been jailed.

Thomas Hyde, 30, of no fixed address, went into Sainsbury’s in John Macadam way in December last year and picked up a bottle of Jack Daniels and a packet of Nicorette patches worth £38 and left the store without paying.

A few hours later, he returned to the same store and picked up two boxes of vodka, each box containing twelve bottles worth £216, and left the store, again without paying.

On Saturday January 14, Hyde went into Asda in Battle Road, and picked up alcohol and food worth £40.38 and concealed them within a bag. He tried to leave without paying, but was detained at the exit by security staff.

Hyde was arrested for shoplifting, and was also found in possession of a knife. He pleaded guilty to three counts of theft, going equipped for a theft and being in possession of a bladed article at Hastings Magistrates' Court.

Thomas Hyde stole Jack Daniels and cigarettes from the Sainsbury's supermarket on John Macadem Way, St Leonards. Credit: Google Maps

He was sentenced to a total of 15 months imprisonment. Hyde was already on a nine-month suspended sentence. He was sentenced to six months custody on the new offences to run consecutively to this.

He was also ordered to pay £85 costs, £187 victim surcharge and £204 compensation.

Prevention Inspector Aidan Cornwall, of the Hastings and Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Thomas Hyde is a prolific criminal and a blight on our local businesses.

“This sentence protects our community and is another great example of the collaboration between Sussex Police, businesses and our partners to tackle such crimes.

“This teamwork is vital in catching repeat offenders who are causing harm to our communities and we will continue to work with partners to bring such perpetrators to justice.”

Thomas Hyde tried to steal various goods from the Asda supermarket in Battle Road, St Leonards, but was stoped by security staff. Credit: Google Maps

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “This is another great result for Sussex Police and sends a strong message to all prolific offenders operating across our towns and villages that they should not expect to get away with any crime.

“Shoplifting is a scourge for both residents and retailers and, whilst it may appear low-level in terms of value, its impact on those affected is high.

"Our shops are the backbone of our community and staff work hard to make sure customers are provided with what they need. This should not result in them feeling afraid to come to work or having to face danger in what should be a safe, working environment.

“Theft also impacts profitability for businesses which in turn can affect the consumer in the form of higher prices. I hope this result gives further confidence to local residents and demonstrates that Sussex Police take these crimes very seriously.”