Former addict's final chance

A FORMER drug addict who plagued Co-op stores with his repeated shop lifting has been given a final chance by the court.

A FORMER drug addict who plagued Co-op stores with his repeated shop lifting has been given a final chance by the court.

An anti-social behaviour order was slammed on Gary Sutton in October 2006 after he repeatedly stole from various co-operative stores in Ipswich.

The ASBO prevented the 39-year-old from entering any Co-op Store in the borough of Ipswich.

However Sutton, of Lackford Place, Ipswich then pleaded guilty to stealing £10.38 worth of coffee from a Co-op store on May 27.

He also admitted this had breached the ASBO.

Sutton also pleaded guilty to stealing £51.99 worth of toiletries from the Co-op store on Nacton Road on June 11.

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He then admitted failing to surrender to bail on June 23.

Andrea Reynolds prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court said: “He was caught on CCTV in May and was recognised because he is well known. He was drunk at the time and needed cash and it was an easy option.”

Ian Duckworth mitigating said Sutton had a history of drug use and mental health problems.

Sutton told the court the community drugs team and Outreach had helped him to confront his drug problems.

He said: “They got me out of 26 years of heroin use. It is all down to their support and I have stayed strong and positive.”

Chairman of the magistrates' bench Peter Page said: “No doubt we will be subject to criticism but the sentence is six months probation supervision because he is receiving support and is willing to use any additional support available to him.”

He told Sutton: “Strictly speaking we should have sent you to prison but you have demonstrated you are making an effort. If you come here again you will go to prison.”

Sutton was told to pay £62.37 compensation to the Co-op.

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