Prolific Worthing thief jailed after threatening shop staff with Covid-19 needle

A prolific thief has been jailed for a slew of shoplifting and anti-social behaviour offences in Worthing.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 1:37 pm

Twenty-nine-year-old Kirsten Hocking, of Lyndhurst Road, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft, five counts of breaching a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO), two counts of causing intentional harrassment, alarm or distress and one count of attempted theft.

At Worthing Magistrates Court last Wednesday (January 13), Hocking was jailed for 26 weeks.

The court heard Hocking took items such as perfume, alcohol and pet food from shops across Worthing between November and January.

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At Boots in Montague Street on January 12, she threatened shop staff by saying she was infected with Covid-19 and that she ‘had a needle’ and ‘would use it’.

She was also found to be in breach of her five-year CBO which started in July, banning her from entering large areas of Worthing and many of the town’s stores.

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PC Isobel Wimbleton said: “This conviction follows over a year’s worth of work by the local Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) and we are pleased the court has recognised the impact of her offending by imposing the maximum possible sentence.

“Hocking has caused considerable loss, frustration and distress to shops in the Worthing area and we hope she reflects on her behaviour.

“We have worked tirelessly taking Hocking through the anti-social behaviour crime and policing process where she had numerous opportunities to stop offending but she has continued to do so.

“Adur, Worthing and Horsham NPT work in partnership to tackle anti-social behaviour and are committed to tackling repeat offenders and keeping the area safe.”