A prolific thief has been banned from every petrol station in England and Wales after stealing thousands of pounds of fuel, but has been spared jail.

Paul Fagg, from Maidstone, stole £3,690 of fuel in a scam where he pretended he had forgotten his wallet after filling up.

Canterbury Crown Court was told the 60-year-old gave staff a false address and promised he would settle the bill but never returned.

In a four-month period, Fagg stole fuel across Kent on 41 occasions, and was believed to have been involved in stealing fuel to order.

Prosecutor Harry Hewitt said: “He had gone into the stations in a Range Rover, a Daimler and at the other end of the spectrum, a Renault Scenic. They were not his vehicles and he is believed to have been used by others.”

After pleading guilty to the fraud, which happened between May and August last year, he was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

In addition Judge Adele Williams banned him from entering any fuel station in England and Wales, warning that if he breached the order he would go to prison.