Ipswich shoplifter stole Prosecco from Co-op and then returned to steal more alcohol

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A shoplifter who stole Prosecco from an Ipswich Co-op went back to swipe a further two bottles of alcohol later in the day, a court heard.

Nicholas Elliston, of Hurricane Place, Ipswich, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to two thefts, possession of a Stanley knife and possession of cannabis.

All the offences occurred on August 12.

Prosecutor Philip Pearson said the 46-year-old went into the Co-op in Queen’s Way and stole the Prosecco worth £7.49.

Elliston put it down the back of his trousers and walked out.

He returned to the store later and stole a further two bottles of Pink Brut Rose valued at £33.98.

Elliston was followed from the shop and staff tried to stop him, but he would not stop.

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He was later detained by a police officer.

The constable found Elliston had a pen knife on him which had sentimental value as it belonged to his late father. He was also in possession of a Stanley knife and a small amount of cannabis.

Shelley Drew, representing Elliston, said her client’s life had taken a downward turn.

A long-term relationship had broken down when he lived in Lincoln and he had moved back to live in Ipswich. He was currently unemployed.

Mrs Drew said Elliston did not drink on a daily or weekly basis, but when he does he binge drinks.

On the day of the thefts he had already consumed some cans of alcohol, but needed more to drink. He did not have any income so decided to steal the alcohol.

Police returned the pen knife to Elliston as it did not constitute an offensive weapon.

The court heard he had the Stanley knife on him to cut the cannabis to prepare the joint.

The knife was inside his wallet when it was found.

Magistrates gave Elliston a 12-month conditional discharge for the thefts and cannabis offence. He was fined £200 for possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

Elliston was ordered to pay £30 to the victims’ fund and £7.49 compensation to the Co-op.

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