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Cheeky thief gets prison term

PUBLISHED: 18:09 21 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:35 03 March 2010

CHEEKY jailbird James Turner who staged a bold-as-brass escape from prison was back in court charged with a string of thefts.

Turner sat in the dock at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday fresh from being handed down his 28-day sentence from Ipswich Crown Court for the escape from Norwich prison.

CHEEKY jailbird James Turner who staged a bold-as-brass escape from prison was back in court charged with a string of thefts.

Turner sat in the dock at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court yesterday fresh from being handed down his 28-day sentence from Ipswich Crown Court for the escape from Norwich prison.

Turner was even thanked by the judge for highlighting the problems with security after the farcical escape in which he simply removed his prison bib and walked out on February 13.

But this was not enough for the audacious criminal dressed in bright yellow and blue prison issue clothing. It seems his insatiable appetite for all crimes bold did not start with the escape.

Yesterday the court heard how brazen-faced Turner, of Birkfield Drive Ipswich, had stolen a sofa from the Creative Design Company on January 22. And even asked a hapless passer-by to help him carry it to the bright yellow cabriolet car he used to drive it away in. The court heard how they had carried it away from the shop and past the curve bar.

To top it all off, when he was quizzed by police, the 39-year-old told them he had bought it from a man named Sid in a pub. He later admitted he had stolen it and pleaded guilty to the offence.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a Ford Fiesta from Kesgrave Tyres on Foxhall Road between January 5 and 6.

The court heard how he was followed along Old London Road by a police officer who eventually saw the car abandoned in a lay-by and a figure get out and run off. When the officer caught up with what turned out to be Turner he said: "It was not me driving the car I was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Turner also pleaded guilty to two other thefts including a brief case and a pair of gloves from the Co-op.

In defence Ian Devine said: "It is hard to see how he drove off with a three-seater sofa in a bright yellow cabriolet. Not only that but his journey would have taken him directly past the magistrates court and the police station.

"The theft of the brief case and the gloves were completely opportunist."

Turner was given 16 weeks in prison for each of the four charges of theft. These are to run concurrently.


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