Ipswich Waitrose meat shoplifter had more than 70 previous offences

Little Waitrose

Little Waitrose - Credit: Lucy Taylor

A shoplifter with more than 70 offences to her name has been spared jail after stealing meat worth £300 from an Ipswich Waitrose.

Chantal Garrad, of Turret Lane, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to two charges of theft when she appeared before the town’s magistrates. The offences occurred on October 1 and 6.

The thefts put the 30-year-old in breach of an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, which she received on November 26, 2014.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the offences occurred at the Little Waitrose store in Princes Street.

On October 1 Garrad entered the shop, selected a large number of steaks, joints and chicken and put them in her bag before leaving without pay.

She did the same on October 6.

Garrad was identified as the thief when CCTV footage was viewed.

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She was arrested on October 8 and admitted the offences.

Garrad told police she had no money or heroin substitute methadone, and was desperately in need of a ‘fix’, the court heard.

She had sold the meat to buy heroin and was apologetic.

Mrs Harper told the court Garrad had convictions for 72 previous offences, of which 33 were for theft.

Garrad, representing herself, said she has suffered a lot of problems in the past 12 months including a very close relative – who she needed to care for - being diagnosed with cancer.

She pleaded with magistrates to spare her a prison term.

Garrad said: “The last time I went to prison was 10 years ago in 2006 and I can’t think of anything worse.”

Magistrates fined her a total £100 for breaching her suspended sentence.

Garrad was also given a 12-week prison term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay Waitrose £300 compensation.

She must also pay £80 to the victims’ fund.