A BURGLAR has been sentenced after being convicted of almost 60 offences committed in Herefordshire and Shropshire over the span of nine months.

Thomas Rutter entered guilty pleas to 54 counts of theft from a shop, two counts of burglary, and two of failing to attend an initial assessment after a test for a class A drug when he appeared before magistrates in Telford in November.

The court heard from prosecutor Sara Beddow that the 24-year-old had hit shops across Ludlow, including the Second Chance Store, Spar, WH Smiths, One Stop, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi, and Co-op, Peak Pharmacy, stealing hundreds of pounds worth of goods from each.

He also stole from Low Fuel Prices Always and Co-op in Church Stretton.

The items he had stolen included pens, phone chargers, cheese, ice creams, washing powder and laundry pods, toiletries, chocolates, electric toothbrushes, bedding, candles, whiskey, vodka, rum, Champagne, prosecco, lager, cider, wine, beauty products, food, and steaks, the court was told.

He had also entered Leominster's Factory Shop as a trespasser on two occasions on July 16 and stolen clothing, and stolen spirits worth £46.50, £146, £90, and £46 and from the town's Co-op supermarket.

Rutter had also failed to attend an initial assessment to establish whether he was dependent on or had a propensity to misuse a class A drug on August 21 and again on September 25 after testing positive for cocaine and heroin.

The offences all took place between January and September, the court was told.

Rutter, who is of no fixed address, was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment