Hungry teenager caught stealing

A TEARFUL teenage shoplifter who stole a sandwich and drink from an Ipswich store because he was hungry and thirsty faces being sent back to prison if he re-offends.

A TEARFUL teenage shoplifter who stole a sandwich and drink from an Ipswich store because he was hungry and thirsty faces being sent back to prison if he re-offends.

David Sheldrake, of Stowmarket Road, Needham Market, pleaded guilty to the theft of a prawn sandwich and a Lucozade wild berry drink worth £3.09 from Boots in Tavern Street when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, told the court the 18-year-old entered the store the previous day and was seen selecting a sandwich from the shelves.

He said: “He popped the sandwich into a plastic bag and partially concealed the drink under his clothing.

“He left the store but was brought back and the police were called. He exercised his right of silence but at the end of the interview indicated he would plead guilty.”

The court heard Sheldrake, who wept during the 45 minute hearing, has a number of previous convictions and was on licence from prison when he stole the sandwich and drink.

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Mr Davies said: “I realise the offence isn't the most serious but this is a persistent offender. He has had quite a few convictions in the past 12 months and numerous offences of shop lifting in the last 24 months.”

Roger Thomson, defending, said: “The offence speaks for itself. My client fully admitted he stole to eat and drink.

“Because he was on licence this would be quite a serious offence. He has a long record of offending and he tells me since he was released he has been extremely emotionally run down and he has just come off anti-depressants.

“His mum and dad won't have anything to do with him but luckily he has a supportive sister with whom he lives. He accepts he has done something very stupid but he has been in and out of custody and he is finding it difficult to get his life on track.”

Magistrates ordered Sheldrake to undertake 15 hours of community work for the offence as part of a community punishment order. He was warned he would be recalled to prison if he committed further offences.

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