A PROLIFIC thief has vowed never to break the law again after fracturing an elderly lady’s pelvis as he fled The Range with £150 of stolen goods.

Jack Hills has been jailed for 23 months for a whopping 25 theft offences and for causing grievous bodily harm to the woman at The Range store in Short Street, Southend.

The 27-year-old had previously been given criminal behaviour orders in 2018 to stop him stealing from shops in Southend, which prohibited him going to Southend High Street.

However, he was spotted there by police last year and he fled when they approached him.

In total, across all Hills’ thefts from December 2019 to March this year, he stole £1,033 worth of goods. On February 27, Hills entered the Range and took various tools and items from the shelves with a value of £150.

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He went to leave the store without paying, going through the entrance doors to avoid the security barriers on the exit doors.

The woman came in through the doors which allowed Hills to rush out as they opened. As he did, he knocked the woman over.

She couldn’t get up and an ambulance had to be called, and the fracture has resulted in her being unable to exercise.

Hills, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday after admitting all the offences.

Anthony Abell, mitigating, said: “The defendant never had any intention to hurt the woman.

“It is akin to a ghastly accident. I do not say that as a defence but it occurred when he was running away at some speed from committing shoplifting.”

Addressing the court, Hills, who appeared via video link, said: “It was a total accident, I would never leave someone like that.

“I would like to apologise and from the bottom of my heart I swear I will never break the law again. If I do you can lock me up and throw away the key.”

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Judge Andrew Hurst told Hills: “I accept your apology, and despite the fact that we are doing this via a computer I can see how upset you are about the injuries you caused this woman.”

Hills was given a five month sentence for each count of theft, eight and four month sentences for his two CBO breaches and six months for causing GBH, totalling 23 months in prison.