A prolific Isle of Wight offender must pay compensation to The Little Cow Shed after a Facebook appeal helped identify and bring him to justice.

Timothy Young, of Spring Gardens, Ventnor, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court on Friday, March 15.

Lauren Stone, prosecuting, said the theft happened at The Little Cow Shed in Havenstreet, an unmanned and operated on an honesty basis, on February 22, and the owner visited the shop the next day to find a Kit-Kat and a milkshake on the floor.

Ms Stone told the court the owner checked CCTV footage, which captured Young glancing at the 'CCTV in operation' sign and looking directly at the camera.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Little Cow Shed in HavenstreetThe Little Cow Shed in Havenstreet (Image: IWCP)

Young was seen taking a breadbasket and filling it with three bottles of semi-skimmed milk, a bottle of whole milk, bread, ice cream, Greek yoghurt, Coca-Cola, strawberry milkshake and 20 Kit-Kats and Mars bars before leaving the shop, the prosecution said.

Young told police he had put £20 in the honesty box, despite the total amount stolen coming to £61.90, with the goods not recovered.

The Little Cow Shed posted photos of Young on its Facebook page, explaining to Islanders what its CCTV cameras had captured.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Michael McGoldrick, defending, said described the incident as an ‘optimistic’ theft rather than premeditated.

Mr McGoldrick told the court Young felt genuine remorse and shame the next day and was made aware that images of him had been posted on Facebook.

Young tried to call The Little Cow Shed but could not get through and intended to visit the shop the next day to settle his debt, but was arrested before he got the chance, said Mr McGoldrick.

Mr McGoldrick said Young - who has 33 convictions for 67 offences, including 21 thefts between 1988 and 2023 - "has been treated harsher than he should," due to "media scrutiny."

Magistrates told Young: “That wasn’t a very nice thing to do, was it?” to which Young replied, “No, it wasn’t.”

Young was handed a £120 fine, and must pay £85 in costs, a £48 surcharge and £61.90 compensation to The Cow Little Shed.