Thief jailed for carrying a knife on a shoplifting expedition in Exmouth.

PUBLISHED: 14:59 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:00 20 November 2017

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Alistair McKenzie, from Exeter, was found with a large kitchen knife in a rucksack when police arrested him for stealing mobile phones from a stall in Exmouth market. McKenzie, aged 45, of Norman Mews, Exeter, admitted possessing a knife in public and was jailed for ten months by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

A persistent thief has been jailed for carrying a knife on a shoplifting expedition in Exmouth.

Alistair McKenzie, from Exeter, was found with the large kitchen knife in a rucksack when police arrested him for stealing mobile phones from a stall in Exmouth market.

He was identified by CCTV and arrested in Belvedere Road, Exmouth, on the morning of August 4 this year. The serrated knife, with an eight inch blade, was found as he was being booked into custody.

The court heard McKenzie has 170 convictions, including 112 for shoplifting, and had been caught with a knife on four previous occasions, Exeter Crown Court was told.

McKenzie, aged 45, of Norman Mews, Exeter, admitted possessing a knife in public and was jailed for ten months by Judge Erik Salomonsen.

The Judge told him: “You were in Exmouth thieving; stealing mobile phones which you tried to sell. You deliberately intended to steal the items and were identified from CCTV.

“When you were arrested, you had a knife in your backpack. You are not a chef and had no reason whatsoever to have it with you.

“One of the primary responsibilities of a Judge is to protect the public. A man who comes before the courts five times for possession of bladed articles is not a man who should be released into the community.”

McKenzie has already served a six week sentence for the shoplifting offence, which he admitted at magistrate court.

Mr Lee Bremridge, prosecuting, said the rucksack was seized by police when McKenzie was arrested and the knife found as he was being booked into custody in Exeter.

He said McKenzie has previous convictions from 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2015 for carrying a kitchen knife, a multi-tool, a craft knife and a lockable pocket knife.

Mr Peter Seigne, defending, said McKenzie did not produce the knife from the rucksack or threaten anyone with it.

He said all McKenzie’s offending results from a long standing heroin addiction but he has moved onto a methadone prescription while in custody and would benefit from rehabilitation in the community.

Mr Seigne said McKenzie has also ended a ten-year ‘toxic’ relationship with a woman who was arrested with him and plans to start a new life in Taunton when he is released.

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