A prolific thief who avoided paying a £7.50 rail fare has been jailed for nearly a year.

Wayne Harold, 39, will serve 11 months behind bars after admitting to a string of thefts and a single charge of assault when appearing at Chelmsford Magistrates Court.

Harold, of Cullings Court, Waltham Abbey, was also found to have failed to pay his train fare when travelling between Colchester and Witham on January 31 last year.

Magistrates handed Harold an extra month behind bars for fare dodging because of his other convictions.

Among the crook's offences which he admitted were three seprate charges of theft from the Superdrug store in Witham, which took place across a 13-month period.

Back on January 31 last year, Harold stole Loreal face creams worth a combined £500. He also stole £880.91 worth of Olay products from the store on November 10, and went on to snatch Olay face creams worth £350 back on January 26 of this year.

Harold also admitted to taking slimming aids and Nicotinell gum from Savers in Witham worth £191.74 on Dec 31.

Magistrates ordered the thief to pay £500 in compensation to his victims.