A Stevenage man has been jailed for nine months for a series of shoplifting offences.

Joseph McDonald, of no fixed address, was arrested by police officers on May 13 for two offences of shoplifting meat from Tesco Express in the High Street. He was subsequently charged and remanded.

McDonald, aged 49, appeared at Hatfield Magistrates' Court the next day, where he pleaded guilty to both offences.

He was also arrested for failing to appear at court in relation to an additional two theft offences and was already on court bail for a further three, making a total of seven offences dealt with at court.

McDonald received a nine-month sentence and additional fines, including the payment of compensation.

Neighbourhood sergeant Matt Fathers said: "Shoplifting in Stevenage is a policing priority for us, as it is often associated with other criminality, so we are keen to do all we can to tackle this issue.

"We will continue to support shops and businesses and would urge them to contact us if an offence is taking place, so we can attend and take swift action."