Shoplifter stole steaks and cheese from Ipswich Co-ops

The Co-op Norwich Road Ipswich

The Co-op Norwich Road Ipswich - Credit: Lucy Taylor

A shoplifter who stole steaks and cheese from two Co-ops in east Ipswich has been given a conditional discharge.

Mark Ely, of Milton Street, Ipswich, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft when he appeared before the town’s magistrates.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the first theft occurred at around 2.15pm on May 30 at the Co-op store in Woodbridge Road East.

A member of staff saw 46-year-old Ely acting suspiciously and subsequently checked CCTV to see he had stolen six packets of steak worth £30 by putting them down his trousers before leaving the shop and cycling off on his bicycle.

The following day he returned to the store at 11.25am.

Ely stole two more packets of steak valued at £9, putting them in the waistband of his trousers before leaving without paying.

On June 28 he went to the Co-op in Foxhall Road and put six packs of Cathedral cheese worth £27 in his body warmer.

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Staff thought it strange Ely was wearing a body warmer in warm weather and checked the CCTV to see what he had done.

The court was told Ely had previously committed 118 offences, including 46 for theft.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said his client had told police he had been drunk and could not explain or remember what he had done during the period of the thefts.

Magistrates heard Ely had problems with drink and drugs and had gone back to misusing substances after his relationship had broken up.

Although he was given a 12-month conditional discharge magistrates told Ely he must pay £66 compensation to the Co-op, £50 costs and a criminal courts charge of £150 as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

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