A MAN who admitted shoplifting in Rayleigh has been jailed less than 24 hours after committing the offence.

Dominic O’Sullivan, of Hitchin Close, Romford, pleaded guilty to three counts of shoplifting when he appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

He was jailed for 21 weeks.

The 42-year-old admitted three counts of shoplifting at the BP garage, London Road, in Rayleigh, during April.

The value of food and drink taken amounted to a total of £645.

O’Sullivan was arrested on the last occasion, Wednesday, April 17, after staff witnessed, he had concealed cans of alcohol before leaving the shop.

Staff alerted an on-duty police officer who was at the garage, who then followed O’Sullivan.

When stopped, O’Sullivan admitted to the officer that he hadn’t paid for the items, and he was arrested shortly before 3.30pm.

On each of the occasions O’Sullivan was wearing an orange high-viz jacket.

Sgt Paul Restall, of Rayleigh's policing team, said: “Business theft is not a victimless crime and we will do all we can to support the business community by arresting and bringing offenders before the court.

“In this case, thanks to the alertness of staff who told our officer, it was less than 24 hours between Dominic O’Sullivan committing the crime and being sentenced at court.”