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Man who stole special edition James Bond books worth nearly £4k avoids immediate jail term

PUBLISHED: 10:56 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:56 03 January 2020

A man has pleaded guilty to stealing five special edition copies of Casino Royale  from a warehouse in Martlesham. Picture: EON PRODUCTION/PA WIRE/DAVID CHESKIN

A man has pleaded guilty to stealing five special edition copies of Casino Royale from a warehouse in Martlesham. Picture: EON PRODUCTION/PA WIRE/DAVID CHESKIN

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An Ipswich warehouse worker who stole five rare James Bond books worth £3,750 to pay for medical treatment for his dog has been given a suspended prison sentence

Konrad Bulawa, 38, of Station Street, Ipswich, stole the limited editions of Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming, while he was working for Ceva Logistics in Mendlesham, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The company became aware of the thefts after several copies of the book, which had specific serial numbers as well as rare covers and spines, went missing from a pallet in a warehouse in June 2018.

A security team from the logistics firm looked for the stolen goods online and found two of the special edition Bond books on sale on eBay for their £750 price tag from an account name Bulawa_bulawa.

After approaching the buyer online and confirming that the serial numbers matched two of the books that were stolen, the information was passed to the police - who obtained an address from the account which was handed over by eBay.

Bulawa's name was also associated with the account and after the company confirmed that he worked part-time at the warehouse, a warrant was carried out at his Ipswich home and he was arrested.

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None of the books were recovered by the police.

While Bulawa was being interviewed, officers noticed that the adverts had been taken off the internet and, following analysis of his phone, it emerged that his wife Joanna had allegedly been involved in planning the sale.

She was later charged with fraud but had since left the country without entering a plea.

Bulawa admitted theft by an employee and two offences of fraud by false representation and was given a 32-week prison sentence, suspended for two years - and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay £3,750 compensation to Ceva Logistics and a £140 victim surcharge.

Carl Wheeler, for Bulawa, said his client - who has no previous convictions - had stolen the books to pay for medical treatment for his 13-year-old dog which had since died.

He said his client had started working for Ceva Logistics in April 2018 and was sacked as a result of the offences.

Mr Wheeler accepted the offences had required some degree of planning but said the offending wasn't sophisticated.

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