A burglar was arrested outside Goodison Park on an Everton FC matchday after breaking into the stock room of a Liverpool ONE store.
John Gill attempted to steal thousands of pounds of goods from the MAC Cosmetics branch in the city centre. He then attempted to hide in the toilet in a bid to avoid detection before telling employee he was lost once he was caught red-handed and fleeing.
Liverpool Crown Court heard yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, that the 47-year-old was seen on CCTV targeting the premises at around 3.30pm on October 18 last year. Gill, of Prescot Street, went upstairs into the staff-only area before filling up a bag with around £3,000 of cosmetics
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Chris Taylor, prosecuting, described how he was then disturbed by workers and hid in a bathroom. After being located, the dad-of-two claimed that he had "got lost" and left the shop - later being linked to the crime by his fingerprints.
Then, at roughly 5.30pm the same day, Gill forced entry to Staycity Aparthotels via the fire exit. Cameras caught him rifling through laundry baskets before stealing £800 of towels.
His offending continued on October 22, when he and an unidentified accomplice entered John Lewis and filled a large sports bag up with linen before leaving. Gill was eventually arrested at Goodison Park on Boxing Day.
He has a total of 73 previous convictions for 141 offences, dating back to 1988. The serial offender had been subject to a suspended sentence order at the time, imposed in March 2022 after a burglary at Viva Brazil on Castle Street two years previously.
Kate Morley, defending, told the court: "He has the antecedent record of a long-standing, entrenched class A drug user who is unable to resist embarking upon acquisitive crime to fund his addiction. In the cold light of day, when not gripped by his addiction to drugs, he regrets his actions.
"It is futile for Mr Gill to give any assurances about his future conduct because of his record, which says he is frankly incapable of changing. But he has reflected and he is trying to access help."
Gill admitted two counts of burglary, theft and breaching a suspended sentence order. Appearing via video link to HMP Berwyn, he was jailed for two years.
Sentencing, Judge Gary Woodhall said: "It is clear that you have a long-standing addiction to controlled drugs and an entrenched position of committing acquisitive crimes in order to fund your habit. Whatever good intentions you might have when in custody, whenever you are under the influence of drugs you cannot avoid offending."
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