Coffee theft leads to Ipswich shoplifter getting community order

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Stealing three tubs of coffee worth less than £20 has led to an Ipswich shoplifter to being given a 12-month community order.

Mark Ely, of Milton Street, pleaded guilty to theft when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The 47-year-old stole the coffee worth £19.17 from the Co-op in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, on September 14.

Ely also admitted the theft put him in breach of a 12-month conditional discharge he was given by Ipswich magistrates on September 9 for similar offences.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Ely entered the Co-op and took the coffee without paying.

CCTV stills were circulated and a police officer identified the thief as Ely. Mark Holt, representing Ely, said his client described himself as “a binge drinker when his mood drops”.

The court was told he drank for two or three days.

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The theft happened when Ely was drinking after he and his partner fell out.

Magistrates heard he also suffered from anxiety and depression.

Mr Holt said: “I don’t think every time he drinks he gets into trouble, but every time he gets into trouble he is in drink.”

In addition to being sentenced to a community order, Ely must undergo a 20-day rehabilitation activity and a 12-day alcohol programme.

He must also pay a £150 criminal courts charge and £19.17 to the Co-op in compensation.