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M&S underwear thief traced after driving licence found with dumped bras

PUBLISHED: 19:00 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 07:59 21 November 2019

Marks and Spencer, in Westgate Street, Ipswich  Picture: NEIL PERRY

Marks and Spencer, in Westgate Street, Ipswich Picture: NEIL PERRY

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A shoplifter was caught after dropping her ID while fleeing an Ipswich department store with a bundle of stolen bras.

Kerry Wilson appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court to admit snatching 10 bras from Marks and Spencer, in Westgate Street, on May 22.

When witnesses gave chase, the 44-year-old dropped two of the items - each costing £28 - and a purse containing a provisional driving licence.

Prosecutor Colette Harper Wilson, of Fitzgerald Court, Ipswich, said Wilson had previous convictions for 47 offences, including 27 thefts, before her appearance on Tuesday.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said the theft from Marks and Spencer was the offence Wilson had committed since last September.

"She has a history of class A drug use," he added.

"It has been a problem, on and off, for more than two decades.

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"When she does use drugs, she commits acquisitive crimes, which seem to be committed to fund the habit."

Mr Holt said Wilson had undertaken residential rehabilitation in Norwich at the end of last year, but was forced to cut the treatment short by three months due to unavailable funding.

"It didn't run the full course, but she came out drug free in January," added Mr Holt, who explained Wilson had then unsuccessfully attempted to renew contact with her estranged son.

"She tried to get contact when she was clean and could present well. When she was told no, it tipped her over the edge and she turned to class A drugs as a crutch," he added.

Mr Holt said Wilson had declined to seek help from drug misuse service, Turning Point, because she thought the habit was under control and did not want to become dependant on heroin substitutes.

He said Wilson had since engaged with the service and was using the semi-synthetic opioid Subutex.

"Her hope and desire is to see her son after 18 months of no contact - and that's why she must stay drug free," he added.

Magistrates sentenced Wilson to a 12-month community order, with a drug rehabilitation requirement under the direction of Turning Point, and 20 days' rehabilitation activity requirement.

The outstanding balance of unrecovered stolen bras will be added to Wilson's existing court fines account.

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