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Couple with shared record of 134 offences admit thefts from cars

PUBLISHED: 16:08 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:08 10 January 2020

Ross McCarthy and Kelly Watchman admitted breaking into cars in Ipswich  Picture: ARCHANT

Ross McCarthy and Kelly Watchman admitted breaking into cars in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

A couple who share criminal records of more than 130 offences have admitted breaking into cars parked outside homes in Ipswich.

Ross McCarthy and Kelly Watchman, both of Ranelagh Road, appeared in custody at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Thursday after being caught red-handed on Tuesday night.

The owner of the car woke to the sound of breaking glass at about 11pm and saw McCarthy in the driver's seat, passing items through the window to Watchman, who twice shuttled a handful of valuables across Lupin Road.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the victim went out to confront the pair, who ran off into the path of responding police officers.

The following morning, a resident of nearby London Road woke to find his company car had been broken into.

He was later informed that McCarthy had been arrested in possession of his stolen coat, bank card, gym clothes, rucksack, work uniform, door keys and trainers.

Watchman, 35, also admitted stealing from another car at about 9.30pm on September 10 last year.

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On that occasion, the victim answered her door to a neighbour, whose daughter had filmed a woman, since confirmed via DNA as Watchman, sitting in the front of her car before running off.

The court heard Watchman had a criminal record of 75 offences and was in breach of a 12-month community order handed down for shoplifting on December 6.

Shelley Drew, mitigating, said Watchman had limited recollection of the offences, committed under the influence of alcohol used to substitute historic misuse of class A drugs.

She said there had been a gap in offending between 2018 and 2019.

Magistrates revoked the community order and imposed a 16-week jail term, suspended for two years, along with 50 hours of unpaid work and up to 20 days of rehabilitation activity.

She was also ordered to pay a total of £213 in compensation to two of the victims.

McCarthy, 41, who separately admitted refusing to give a drugs sample in custody, had a record of 59 offences and had attended just two of four probation meetings since serving the latest of three jail sentences last year.

Helen Korfanty, mitigating, said McCarthy had similar problems with alcohol, but had just found work and was motivated to co-operate with probation.

Magistrates adjourned his case for a pre-sentence report.

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