Pair stole 85 cans of tinned salmon from B&M in Ipswich
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A pair of recovering drug addicts have admitted stealing 85 cans of tinned salmon from an Ipswich branch of discount store B&M to fund their former habits.
Liam Collis, 31, and Stephen Mann, 33, both appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Tuesday afternoon to admit two counts of shop theft.
The pair stole a total of 85 cans of tinned salmon worth £257.15 across two consecutive days in January this year.
Prosecutor Priscilla Afful-Mensah said Collis and Mann entered the Carr Street store and loaded tins of salmon into a shopping bag on January 5.
The court heard that, while waiting for the automatic entrance doors to open, Collis concealed another handful of tins in his jacket before the pair left without paying for a total of 44 tins worth £141.16.
Miss Afful-Mensah said the pair returned the following day and used the same technique to steal 41 tins worth £115.99.
Both men were later identified on CCTV footage and summonsed to court.
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The pair, who appeared together in the dock, without legal representation, each described having replaced their heroin addictions with methadone prescriptions while also engaging with substance misuse service, Turning Point.
Collis, of Old Foundry Road, Ipswich, told magistrates: "At the time, I was struggling with drug addiction, but since committing these offences, I haven't broken the law at all.
"I realised I needed to fix up and turn my life around – and I intend to stay on track."
Collis said he had since found labouring work and was cutting down his prescription with the aim of no longer being dependant on the heroin substitute.
Mann, of Firmin Close, Ipswich, told magistrates that he too had found employment as a groundworker, had become a father and turned his life around.
"We were both struggling with addiction at the time," he told the court.
"We're both now back in work and seeing Turning Point."
Collis was released on unconditional bail to attend the same court for a pre-sentence report to be prepared by the probation service on August 17.
Mann was fined £600 and ordered to pay £129 in compensation to B&M, £105 in costs and a £60 statutory court surcharge.