Recovering addict stole meat and babywear from shops in Ipswich and Colchester

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

A shoplifter with 100 offences to her name stole meat and babywear from stores in Ipswich and Colchester, a court heard.

Recovering drug addict Tara Bowley, of Wilberforce Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from shop when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

The first offence occurred at the One Stop Shop in Greenstead, Colchester, on January 13. The second at TK Maxx in the Buttermarket shopping centre in Ipswich on March 9.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said 41-year-old Bowley was seen in the One Stop Shop where she had been known for around 10 years.

She filled a basket with meat and left the store without paying. The goods were worth a total of £58.05.


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Two months later she went into TK Maxx shortly after 12.15pm and selected four pairs of Dolce & Gabbana baby shoes and an item of Nike babywear totalling £92.95.

Bowley put the items in a basket before moving elsewhere in the store. She then crouched down and re-emerged without the items in the basket but the bag she had with her was filled.

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Mrs Harper said Bowley handed over other items as if to pay for them, but then abandoned payment and left the shop.

She was escorted back to the store by a police officer and the shoplifted items in her bag were recovered.

The court was told there were 47 thefts among the 100 previous offences Bowley had committed.

Bowley, representing herself, said she moved to Ipswich in April last year.

The court heard she had been ‘clean’, and was now getting help from the drug rehab organisation Turning Point.

Bowley added: “I really can’t keep doing this. It’s just a silly mistake that I have done. I do realise I was in a bit too deep. I’m trying to sort it out again.”

Magistrates fined Bowley a total of £100 and ordered her to pay costs of £35, as well as £20 to the victims’ fund.

She must also pay £58.05 compensation to the One Stop Shop

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