A persistent thief who spurned a chance by York magistrates to show he can go straight has been jailed for 34 weeks.

Sean James Beard, 32, is banned from part of the city and from going into any car – anywhere – as the authorities try to stop him stealing from shops and people. He has a long criminal history and has served several prison sentences.

Earlier this month, he persuaded one bench of York magistrates that he may be trying to change his ways and they gave him a suspended prison sentence instead of locking him up again.

But within days Beard stole coffee from a Co-op shop and tried to sell them to customers in a local pub.

A second bench ordered him to serve the entire suspended sentence of 26 weeks, plus eight weeks stealing a bike outside York Hospital and the coffee theft, making a total sentence of 34 weeks.

A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said: "We understand the significant impact shoplifting has on retailers – both the financial loss, and the effect on staff who are left in fear of crime. That’s why we treat this sort of offending so seriously."

York magistrates have twice made Beard subject to criminal behaviour orders (CBOs) to try and protect businesses and residents from him.

The current order bans him from going to most of West York, including Acomb shops and from going into any car, anywhere, without the owner’s permission.

On May 7, he was before York Magistrates Court for breaching the order by going into two cars in west York at night and stealing from them, and by going onto Front Street, Acomb.

His solicitor Kevin Blount told the first bench: ““For the first time in a very long time, he is engaging with the authorities, engaging with the (probation) service and hopefully they are trying to work something out.”

The bench gave Beard,of no fixed address, a 26-week prison sentence suspended for a year.

But on May 9, he stole coffee jars from the Co-op shop on Union Terrace and took them to a pub where he was recognised when he tried to sell them to customers.

Police were called and found him nearby with the coffee.

“Can you have a word with them and see if they’ll let me put them back?” Beard asked officers, who responded by arresting him and checking the shop’s CCTV which showed him stealing them.

Union Terrace is in the area where Beard is allowed to go.

Beard had also been caught on camera stealing a bike outside York Hospital in April.

Brought in custody before the second bench, he pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and was jailed. He must pay £650 compensation to the owner of the bike.