A 38-YEAR-old prolific shoplifter who caused havoc in the dock at Gloucester Crown Court while he was being sentenced is finally behind bars after two abortive attempts by a judge to pass sentence on him.

Daniel Harvey of Hesters Way Road, Cheltenham, first appeared before the court last week on a host of shoplifting and motoring charges.

One of the charges was the theft of £126 worth of whiskey and 12 bottles of alcohol valued at £240 from Co-op Harebrushes Services in Cirencester last year.

Harvey entered the dock on crutches, complaining of being unwell and stated that he had asked the security staff to call an ambulance.

As the wailing of sirens could be heard within the courtroom, Judge Ian Lawrie QC cancelled the ambulance and told Harvey to sit in the dock and face the music.

As prosecutor Julian Kesner attempted to outline the charges against Harvey he continually tried to butt in and often shouted ‘it’s only shoplifting, not murder’.

Mr Kesner said: “Harvey is every retailer’s nightmare. He already has 63 convictions for shoplifting over the past 20 years.

“During which time every sentencing option has been tried, from community orders to custody. Nothing seems to work.

“Harvey seems to specialise in fragrances, Champagne, whisky, gin and jewellery and his stolen items are conservatively valued at £4,122.17.”

Harvey then became even more troublesome in the dock with additional officers being called in to restrain him. Harvey then pulled a substance out of his trousers, believed to be heroin, and swallowed it.

At this point Judge Lawrie stopped proceedings for 10 minutes while Harvey was removed and the hearing continued without him.

Jennifer Stetson, defending, said that Harvey had sacked her as his counsel. “He made it clear through his vile language that he doesn’t want my legal services to defend him.”

Judge Lawrie then said: “I am not having Harvey create havoc in this court. I am revoking any outstanding community orders and it will be custody for him."

The judge remanded Harvey in custody until the hearing was to be resumed on Monday morning. However Harvey failed to get on the transport at Bristol prison on Monday morning and the hearing rescheduled for Tuesday and was conducted via video link from the prison.

Judge Lawrie said: “Harvey is being sentenced for 16 offences, primarily for theft from a variety of retail outlets within the counties of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire."

The judge sentenced Harvey to three years and nine months in jail, disqualified him from driving for two years and five months for having no insurance and no driving licence and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge.