A SHOPLIFTER with more than 50 offences to his name is facing jail again - after homelessness drove him to desperation.

Phillip Day, 28, felt he was being “set up to fail” after he was released from prison with nowhere to go.

He began to offend again and was soon in Chelmsford Prison appearing at court via videolink.

Day, of Ceylon Road, Westcliff, had admitted four counts of theft which happened in December 2012 and January this year, and to breach of a suspended sentence.

Judge Owen Davies said that he had looked at Day’s background which showed more than 50 offences. He said: “The picture is depressingly clear.”

Maria Dineen, mitigating, said her client had raised his concerns when he was last in court in December.

She said:”Mr Day questioned with the court on that occasion whether, in his words, he wasn’t in fact being set up to fail on that occasion.

“He came out of prison with no home, no money.”

She said friends had put a roof over his head for short periods of time, but then he had begun to offend.

She said: “He had not got any benefits in place, no means of feeding himself, he had swiftly fallen back into his old ways of drugs and alcohol.”

Judge Davies asked for probation officers to look at whether the “Bridge Project” would be a suitable alternative to prison, along with a drug rehabilitation requirement. This project is for prolific offenders and designed to break the cycle of offending and going to prison. Day will be sentenced on March 14.