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Drug addict thief back shoplifting day after getting ‘second chance’

PUBLISHED: 16:41 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:41 19 December 2017

Shoplifter Reece Burroughs has been jailed after breaching a suspended sentence. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Shoplifter Reece Burroughs has been jailed after breaching a suspended sentence. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY


A drug-addicted shoplifter, given a second chance by magistrates, waited just 24 hours before stealing again.

Last Wednesday, Reece Burroughs was given a suspended 15-week jail sentence for seven shoplifting offences, including three thefts from Lavender Hill News, Chantry, within four days.

He was also ordered to pay £250 in compensation and banned from entering the newsagent for a year.

At the time, shopkeeper Hirenkumar Patel predicted it would not prevent Burroughs from targeting other shops.

Mr Patel was proved right when the 30-year-old, of no fixed address, walked out of Superdrug, in Ipswich, with two bottles of Hugo Boss aftershave.

The former bricklayer was at it again the next day stealing two bottles of Jack Daniel’s from Bolton Stores, near Christchurch Park. He was also charged with a further seven shoplifting offences predating his appearance in court last week.

Reappearing via video link from Martlesham police investigation centre, Burroughs admitted all charges at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablitt said: “He was given a chance by this court but, within 24 hours, was in breach of a suspended sentence.”

David Allan, representing Burroughs, highlighted an almost a 10-year gap between his client’s recent spate of offending and a previous conviction for cannabis possession in 2008.

“Although in some trouble when younger, he then remained out of trouble; working as a bricklayer, living with his family.

“Over time, a recreational drug habit escalated and overtook other aspects of his life. He ended up losing his employment, falling out with his family and becoming homeless. Now we have a catalogue of thefts undoubtedly committed to feed a drug habit.

“He did himself no favours by breaching his suspended sentence, but he should be given some credit for recognising his situation and that nothing short of a term of imprisonment is going to help get him clean.”

Burroughs was jailed for 26 weeks, including the activated 15-week suspended term.

Anne Ng, chairman of the bench of magistrates, said only a prison sentence could be justified.

Newsagent Mr Patel said Burroughs’ latest crimes affirmed his concern that he was bound to offend again, but added: “I’m relieved by this judgement.”

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