Ipswich shoplifter who breached suspended sentence avoids jail

Gavin Jones was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

Gavin Jones was sentenced at Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: GREGG BROWN

A shoplifter who breached a suspended sentence by stealing meat and fragrances from stores in Ipswich has avoided prison.

Gavin Jones, 43, of Gippeswyk Road, Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Thursday charged with two offences of theft from shops.

Jones entered Debenhams in Westgate Street with another man on New Year’s Day this year and put four Coach fragrances, worth £256, into a bag, Wayne Ablett, prosecutor, told the court.

He was subsequently identified but the fragrances were not recovered.

On February 13, Jones went into the Co-op on Foxhall Road with two other men and took meat from the fridge and placed it into a rucksack he was carrying, Mr Ablett said.

He was detained at the scene and the meat products, worth £74.95, were recovered.

The two other men got away, the court heard.

Jones pleaded guilty to the two theft charges before magistrates, which put him in breach of a suspended sentence.

Mr Ablett said Jones was handed an 18-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, in March 2019.

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The court heard that Jones had 39 previous convictions for 85 offences.

Sue Threadkell, defending, told magistrates that Jones is in a “far better position” in his life now.

“He has longstanding problems with alcohol and has had issues with drug use in the past.

“But he’s in a far better position than he has been for a vast number of years.

“He’s recently secured accommodation with 24-hour support.

“He is adamant he won’t be offending again.

“He is confident that he would be able to abide by any conditions made by the court.”

Chair of the bench John Beamish said due to Jones’ “substantial change in circumstances”, magistrates had decided against activating the suspended sentence.

Magistrates handed Jones a 12-month conditional discharge for the two thefts and fined him £50 for breaching the suspended sentence.

He must also pay £256 in compensation to Debenhams, £105 in costs and a £21 victim surcharge.

Magistrates imposed a 14-day collection order for the money to be paid.

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