A SERIAL shoplifter who stole bottles of vodka and whisky from an Abergavenny supermarket has been jailed, and banned from going into shops in the town and surrounding area.

Darren Philip Eckley, of Parc Row, Tredegar, targeted the town's Waitrose store three times in as many days.

On November 30, Eckley stole two bottles of Smirnoff vodka and one bottle of The Famous Grouse whisky, worth a combined £53.

The following day, the 30-year-old stole another bottle of Smirnoff and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky, worth £37.

Then, on December 2, he returned to the same supermarket and stole a further two bottles each of Smirnoff and Jack Daniel’s, worth another £74.


Eckley was arrested later that day in Abergavenny and charged.

He appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court where it emerged that Eckley had been handed a suspended prison sentence for earlier thefts from shops and supermarkets in the Tredegar area.

Eckley was handed a 10-month prison sentence. He must also pay compensation to the value of the alcohol he stole from Waitrose, as well as a victim surcharge of £122.

PC Chris Butt, of Gwent Police’s North Monmouthshire Neighbourhood Policing Team, said Eckley was a “prolific criminal”.

“Following a successful crime operation targeting shop thefts across Abergavenny at the beginning of the Christmas period, officers arrested prolific criminal Darren Eckley for multiple theft offences from Waitrose Llanfoist," he said.

“Mr Eckley is now serving a prison sentence for these theft offences and is subject to a Community Protection Notice, banning him from entering shops in the Abergavenny area.”