Ipswich Waitrose shoplifter given chance to prove he is overcoming addiction

Little Waitrose in Princes Street

Little Waitrose in Princes Street - Credit: Lucy Taylor

A drug addict with nearly 90 previous offences to his name has been given a chance to prove he can stop offending while trying to kick his habit.

Daniel Cooper, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to shoplifting from Waitrose when he appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The theft of meat worth £30 occurred at the company’s Little Waitrose store in Princes Street on November 5.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the shop’s manager was alerted by a member of the public to Cooper selecting and concealing a large quantity of meat.

When the manager went to speak to the 26-year-old he gave him back some of the meat.

However, he left the store with some of the items he had concealed.

The following day a street ranger identified Cooper from the CCTV images and he was arrested in Carr Street on November 8, the court heard.

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Mrs Harper said Cooper had 86 previous offences, 28 of which were for theft.

Cooper was released from prison in March this year and had produced clean drug tests while on licence.

Paul Donegan, representing Cooper, said his client had started work as a labourer but lost his job around the time of his latest offence because there was not enough work about.

Cooper then started to use Class A drugs again.

The court was told he had stolen the meat to sell in order to get money to buy drugs.

Mr Donegan said his client had been clean for three weeks.

District Judge Sandeep Kainth said he would postpone sentencing for Cooper to be able to prove he was overcoming his drug habit and that he would not commit any further offences.

The judge told him: “The sooner you can sort out your addiction the better it is for you. You know what a slippery slope it can be.”

Sentencing was postponed until April 25.

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