Ipswich woman admits stealing pub charity boxes in Felixstowe, Trimley, Martlesham, and Tuddenham

Michelle Burrows leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court

Michelle Burrows leaving Ipswich Magistrates Court - Credit: Staff

A drug addict has admitted stealing charity boxes from pubs in Trimley, Tuddenham, Felixstowe and Martlesham.

Michelle Burrows, of Kemball Street, Ipswich, who is currently banned from all pubs in England and Wales as part of her bail conditions, pleaded guilty before the town’s magistrates to six thefts.

The 44-year-old stole money donated for the RNLI, St Elizabeth Hospice, Marie Curie, the RNIB, Felixstowe Volunteer Coastal Patrol and East Anglian Air Ambulance.

Burrows stole the boxes from The Hand in Hand in High Road, Trimley St Martin, The Three Mariners, in High Road, Trimley St Martin, The Half Moon in High Street, Felixstowe, The Fountain in The Street, Tuddenham, The Douglas Bader in The Square, Martlesham, and another unnamed pub. The offences occurred between January 7 and January 20.

The last theft - at The Douglas Bader - happened on January 20 while Burrows was already on bail for the previous incidents, three of which were on January 9 – the day of her original arrest.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett said Burrows was driven to the hostelries by a man in a silver car.

She went into the pubs and made for the bar areas where she proceeded to put her coat over the top of the charity boxes.

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Burrows remained in each pub for a short time before leaving, concealing the boxes under her coat as she went.

When Burrows was arrested after the theft from The Douglas Bader a search of the silver car found £9.17 in change in a black sock and a further £8 from a Felixstowe Volunteer Coastal Patrol box, the court heard.

Mr Ablett said the exact amount of money stolen is unknown, although The Mariners’ staff believe the RNLI donations stolen on January 8 could amount to £100. After Burrows arrest she tested positive for opiates and cocaine.

Magistrates were told Burrows had a previous conviction for fraud by false representation in December 2011 and had also twice breached the community order she was given for that offence.

Ben Davies, mitigating, said the man she was with had encouraged her to carry out the thefts to solve their monetary issues.

Burrows’ sentencing was adjourned until February 27 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.