Ipswich drug addict has two shoplifting charges dropped but admits fraud

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A drug addict has had two allegations of theft dropped against him after the prosecution went over the deadline to bring charges.

Lee Brame, of Purplett Street, Ipswich, appeared before the town’s magistrates on two shoplifting accusations.

The first was that the 42-year-old stole Lego toy sets worth £20 from McColls in Ipswich on January 7.

The second was he stole cheese and meats worth £86 from the East of England Co-op in Ipswich on January 23.

However, prosecutor Wayne Ablett told the court legislation had changed relating to low value shop thefts which meant charges had to be brought within six months of arrest.

Charges were not laid until August meaning the matters would have to be withdrawn.

Brame did plead guilty to a third charge of fraud by false representation.

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He admitted using a stolen credit card to purchase cigarettes on January 26.

Mr Ablett said a woman had parked her car in a church hall car park in Ipswich, and left her handbag and purse under the seat before leaving the vehicle.

When she returned a window had been smashed and the items had been stolen.

The woman tried to cancel her credit cars, but two had already been used.

The court was told there was a co-defendant – a female – in the case, and there was nothing to suggest Brame had been the person who committed the theft.

CCTV at a Co-op showed Brame had used one of the stolen cards to buy goods valued at £42.07.

Magistrates were told Brame had previous convictions and had been given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, in April for theft and possession of Class A drugs.

However, as the fraud offence occurred before this he was not in breach of the suspended sentence.

Dino Barricella, mitigating, said Brame had been homeless in January and was living a chaotic lifestyle.

He had been passed the credit card by someone else.

Brame had bought cigarettes with it and used the contactless card to pay for them.

The court was told Brame is now addressing his drug issues.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £42.07 compensation.

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