Serial shoplifter who targeted Co-op, Tesco and One-Stop avoids jail

Tesco Express in Duke Street, Ipswich, was one of the shops targeted

Tesco Express in Duke Street was one of the shops targeted - Credit: Google

A serial shoplifter who stole more than £1,000 worth of items from Ipswich stores over a two-month spree has avoided an immediate prison sentence. 

Magistrates in Ipswich heard how Dominic Waight, 39, targeted the East of England Co-op, Tesco Express and One-Stop during a crime spree between September and November this year. 

Waight stole various items including meat, chocolate, washing detergent, coffee, razor blades, a hair trimmer, and a kettle in 25 thefts, with the total amount of goods worth £1,079. 

The offences began on September 30 and ended on November 22. 

The Co-op was targeted 19 times, with five thefts from Tesco Express and one from the One-Stop.

The court heard that Waight also stole a bicycle on October 13, but the cycle was recovered. 

Waight, of Hawke Road, Ipswich, previously pleaded guilty to all offences and appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Monday for sentence. 

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Mark Holt, defending, told the court that Waight began using drugs again after losing his job. 

"These offences, purely and simply, are drug-related," Mr Holt said. 

"He does have a previous history with class A drugs but after he lost his job as a bricklayer, he fell back into using drugs at the end of 2019/start of 2020. 

"He is well known to local shops and was identified on CCTV. He is employed now as a labourer."

Mr Holt added that Waight had found it difficult to engage with drug treatment services during the Covid-19 pandemic but intended to try to engage with Turning Point once again, should it be available to him. 

Magistrates told Waight that the "pattern of offending" was so serious, it crossed the custody threshold but they were prepared to suspend the sentence. 

Waight was sentenced to 26 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with an electronically monitored curfew from 8pm to 6am. 

He was also banned from entering any East of England Co-op, Tesco or One Stop in the borough of Ipswich during the 12 months. 

Waight was also ordered to pay the full compensation of £1,079 back to the three stores.