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Shoplifter who stole nearly £4,500 worth of items from Boots and The Factory Shop avoids prison

Clare Brown avoided prison at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

Clare Brown avoided prison at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A prolific shoplifter who stole nearly £4,500 worth of items over 11 days has avoided a prison sentence.

Clare Brown, 39, of Cecil Road, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court charged with four counts of theft from a shop and one offence of assaulting a police officer.

Brown initially denied all charges on November 29, but changed her plea to guilty for all offences before magistrates in Ipswich on Friday.

The court heard how Brown, who was released from prison on May 3 this year and was subject to post-sentence supervision order, stole the items between November 8 and November 19.

On November 8, Brown, together with Kyle Beard - who was previously jailed for the offences - stole 12 fragrance gift sets worth £765 from Boots in Martlesham. She was identified on store CCTV.

Three days later on November 11, Brown stole £2,000 worth of Ted Baker box sets from Boots in Woodbridge.

Another four fragrance gift sets, worth £240.50, were stolen from Boots in Martlesham on November 18.

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The following day, Brown struck again when branded clothing, to the value of £1,445, was stolen from The Factory Shop in Beccles and she was seen getting into a Ford Focus and leaving the scene.

When Brown was arrested on November 27, she shouted at officers, demanding a female officer as she said she had experienced previous issues with male officers.

PC Betts, a male officer, was then kicked by Brown in a police car.

In police interview, Brown said she had been kicking the back of PC Betts' chair and when he moved, she had kicked him. She claimed it was the officer's fault for moving.

Magistrates heard how Brown had "numerous" previous convictions.

Brown, who was not represented in court, told magistrates that she had kept out of trouble for six months following her release from prison but had gone through a difficult period when the thefts occurred.

Magistrates sentenced Brown to two weeks imprisonment for each theft and two weeks for the assault of the police officer, suspended for one year.

She was also handed a one-year supervised community order and must pay a £122 victim surcharge.

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