Drunk Ipswich shoplifter wanted to be arrested so he had a bed for the night

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street

Ipswich Magistrates Court on Elm Street - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A man on a suspended prison sentence swigged a bottle of whisky while walking around the shop he stole it from in a bid to get arrested, a court heard.

Leroy Finch, of Sizewell Road, Leiston, needed somewhere to sleep for the night so he stole the bottle from the Co-op in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, and consumed it on the premises.

The 41-year-old admitted shoplifting a bottle of Jack Daniels priced at £15.49, and assaulting a police officer.

The offences occurred on June 9.

Prosecutor Tess Mann said police were called after Finch had been swearing and drinking while walking around the store. He walked to the till and told the assistant he wanted a bed for the night, rolled a cigarette and walked out.

He was located by police and assaulted an officer on the way to custody.

Finch had to be sprayed with PAVA so he could be detained by the officer, who had an old cut re-opened during the struggle.

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Finch was on a 12-week prison term, suspended for two years, given to him by East Surrey Magistrates’ Court on June 30 last year.

A restraining order was also made against Finch.

The suspended sentence came after he was convicted of criminal damages and two counts of malicious communication.

Finch, representing himself, said of his latest offences: “I was in a situation where I had split up with my partner and was very low. I felt I had hit rock bottom.”

He told the court he had already consumed a bottle of brandy before going to the Co-op.

Finch said: “I really needed help and wanted to be around somebody. I didn’t know where to turn.”

“I was stupid. I hold my hands up to it. It was totally out of character. I just hit rock bottom and needed help.”

Finch, who works for a Felixstowe company as a driver, said he apologised to the police officer, through the officer’s colleague, after the incident.

Magistrates fined Finch £100 and ordered him to pay a further £100 for the breach of his suspended sentence.

He must also pay £15.49 compensation to the Co-op and £100 compensation to the officer he assaulted.

In addition Finch was told to pay £85 costs and £30 to the victims’ fund.