A BURGLAR flouted his ban from Pershore to steal bottles of alcohol from town shops, hiding them down his pants and blaming the thefts on a delay to his benefits.

Convicted robber and burglar Daniel Gurney appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Thursday for three thefts and five breaches of a criminal behaviour order (CBO).

The CBO banned Gurney from entering the centre of Pershore but the 34-year-old ignored the ban, breaching the order five times and stealing three bottles of alcohol in May and June this year.

At the time of these thefts and breaches he was on licence for burglary. He had already been recalled to prison to serve the remainder of the original sentence when brought up from the cells to appear before the judge.

During the burglary on October 24, 2017 he targeted a vulnerable elderly woman, stealing her handbag and contents, cash and a mobile phone.

On December 11, 2017 Gurney was sentenced to two and a half years as a 'three strike burglar' and released in March this year. He was recalled in June, potentially until June 15, 2020.

The defendant, previously of Evesham and Wick, admitted new shoplifting offences at the first opportunity at the magistrates court, his early guilty pleas earning him a third discount in the length of any subsequent prison sentence.

Judge Nicholas Cole said Gurney had 'an appalling record' and 'a history of disobedience to court orders', telling him: "You're a habitual criminal."

Gurney had 62 previous convictions for 132 offences, 85 of which were for offences of dishonesty.

Gurney was made the subject of the CBO on May 5, 2017 for five offences of shoplifting and a section four public order offence. The CBO is due to expire on May 4 next year.

Gurney was already banned from the town's Co-op and Asda stores - a ban imposed by the businesses themselves. He is also prohibited from entering the shops and the centre of Pershore by the CBO itself.

However, on May 9 this year at he stole a bottle of Smirnoff vodka worth £20 from Co-Op, placing it initially in a basket and then in the waistband of his trousers.

On May 15 he entered Asda and stole a bottle of Jack Daniels worth £32, again concealing the bottle in the waistband of his trousers. On the same day he was seen near Pershore Abbey in Church Walk, at around 1pm by an off-duty police officer. This was a an area he was prohibited from entering, making it a breach of the CBO.

Another breach took place on May 17 at 7pm as he walked along Broad Street, another street he is not supposed to enter.

Michael Conry, prosecuting, said Gurney also entered Asda at 10.38pm on May 29 and security staff approached him.

Mr Conry said Gurney was heard to say 'I've done my time' before he left the store on a bike.

Gurney returned to the same store on June 10, putting tinfoil around the tag of a bottle of vodka worth £30.

"He tucked it into the waistband of his tracksuit bottoms and left the store without paying for it" said Mr Conry.

When Gurney was arrested he answered 'no comment' to the questions asked of him by police.

However, he did say he was aware of the terms of the CBO and the prohibition from entering Pershore.

"He said he had been collecting his prescription and meeting his probation officer at a tearoom in Pershore."

Mark Lister, defending, said: "You've heard of Daniel Gurney's appalling record which has always been a problem for him."

When Gurney was released from prison he made an application for Universal Credit but there was six week waiting period for payment, the solicitor told the court.

"He had no money. He was waiting for payment. That was the reason behind his offending" said Mr Lister who conceded his client's behaviour demonstrated a persistent breach of the CBO.

Judge Cole told Gurney 'the fact you were awaiting a benefit payment isn't an excuse' as the items stolen were alcohol rather than food.

The judge told him he had 'an appalling record' before jailing him for eight months.

This sentence will run concurrently to the sentence he is already serving for the burglary.