Shoplifter jailed for 16 weeks after Polaroid printer theft from Boots

Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court, in Ipswich. Picture: ARCHANT

An Ipswich shoplifter has been jailed for breaching the terms of a suspended sentence by stealing a gadget to sell for drugs.

Ashley Blowers got £20 for the Polaroid mobile printer – sold by Boots for £109.99.

He also got 16 weeks in prison for stealing the device from the Ipswich store – where he was caught returning the same day.

The 31-year-old, of Peterhouse Close, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court with three plastic bags of belongings, knowing he could be jailed for breaching a suspended sentence handed down in January for threatening behaviour and assaulting a police constable in the execution of their duty.

Blowers was identified on CCTV after removing a security tag from the printer, which he walked out with in a JD Sports bag shortly after 1.15pm on February 26.

After being stopped by security staff at the same store later that day, he was interviewed by police at his home address and admitted the theft, before apologising and offering to pay for the item.

Solicitor Dino Barricella argued it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence for an offence that would otherwise attract no more than a community order, irrespective of previous crimes.

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He said Blowers was compliant with police and attended court upon postal notification.

At the time of the theft, Blowers had been under post-sentence supervision for previous imprisonable offences and was unable to claim benefits.

“At the time of the commission of this offence, he was in receipt of no income,” said Mr Barricella.

“But, in that passage of time, he has money sorted and there has been no re-offending.”

Mr Barricella said Blowers had applied for residential rehabilitation in Sheffield, kept recent probation appointments and provided clean samples to substance misuse service, Turning Point.

“It will come as no surprise that there has always been an issue with drugs,” he said.

“Because of that, he has not always complied with court orders – but he is now motivated to comply. Activating the suspended sentence will achieve nothing other than returning him to square one.”

Magistrates declined the appeal to fine Blowers and extend the suspension – jailing him for the full period and adding two weeks to run concurrently for the theft. He must also pay £109.99 to Boots.