A man, who his own lawyer described as having 'the worst record you will have seen', has been jailed after he was caught trying to steal from a restaurant multiple times.
Andrew Davies, 43, with an "appalling" and "atrocious record" of 517 previous offences, is possibly the man with the longest criminal record in Wales.
The serial thief, who became addicted to heroin as a child, has spent most of his life in and out of the criminal justice system. His attempts to steal alcohol from The Dock in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, happened during a crime spree just a month after he narrowly avoided prison for previous thefts.
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Prosecutor Nicholas Evans told Cardiff Magistrates' Court that a "strange-looking" man was spotted at 6.30pm on October 25 coming down a flight of stairs in The Dock with bottles under his jacket.
A member of the public who saw the thief alerted a restaurant employee. CCTV showed Davies had taken three £30 bottles of vodka from behind the bar.
He returned to the scene of the crime three days later, but not before shoplifting some clothes. On the evening of October 25, he went into JD Sports on Queen Street and stole five Under Armour jackets worth a total of £225. The next day he returned and took four Fred Perry t-shirts worth a total of £300.
On October 28, he snuck into The Dock's staff room but ran off when a worker confronted him. Minutes later, he tried to enter the staff room again but was stopped. Davies then went to Cardiff Bay Retail Park's Sports Direct, where he stole three Liverpool FC jackets worth £195 in total.
In court, Davies, from Butetown, admitted to burglary, attempted burglary and three counts of theft. He has an astonishing 517 offences on his record, including 355 related to dishonesty.
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His solicitor Oliver Jenkins said: "I am the first to recognise he has an atrocious record. He perhaps has the worst record you will have seen.
"He recognises that is an appalling record and cannot be excused. His life has been blighted by addiction and unfortunately he has been a heroin addict from childhood."
His lawyer added that Davies' sister Nicola passed away after struggling with lung cancer, adding that his client's behaviour was aggravated by the fact that it is her funeral on Friday.
"Unfortunately the loss of his sister triggered a relapse and all these offences occurred over a three-day period when he was dealing with that. She was his one remaining family member," he argued.
He asked what immediate custody "would achieve". The hearing was postponed to later in the day for an update from a substance misuse specialist, who did not give a positive assessment of Davies' engagement with services, it is understood.
Presiding Justice Clare Byrne jailed the defendant for 10 months and ordered him to pay a £154 victim services surcharge following his release.
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