Suspended sentence extended for man caught shoplifting in Ipswich

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Archant

A man who was spared jail for a robbery during which he grabbed a Norwich petrol station worker and threatened to break his fingers was arrested for shoplifting in Ipswich just eight days later, a court has heard.

Alan Hammond, 36, was given a 46 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months on March 27 this year for the robbery at a BP garage in Plumstead Road in Norwich on January 20.

On April 4 he was arrested after walking out of Sainsbury’s in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, with a trolley of shopping without paying for it, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Hammond told a staff member that he had thrown away the receipt for the £224 trolley load of shopping and then tried to run away, said Marcus Crosskell, prosecuting.

Hammond was apprehended and said he had bi-polar and Asperger’s and hadn’t been taking his medication.

Hammond, of no fixed address, admitted shoplifting and breaching a suspended sentence order and was given an eight week sentence to run concurrently with the suspended sentence, the operational period of which was extended from 12 months to 15 months.

Sentencing him, Recorder Ian Evans said he had been persuaded it would be unjust to implement the suspended sentence for the shoplifting offence.

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He said Hammond had been punished by spending the last few weeks in custody.

John Farmer, representing Hammond, said his client had run out of his medication eight days after he was given the suspended sentence and hadn’t been thinking straight.

He said Hammond had needed money to go to a funeral and had been offered £20 to shoplift from Sainsbury’s.

At the sentencing hearing in March the court heard that Hammond was captured on CCTV walking into the BP garage and grabbing a staff member by the jumper in a bid to get him to open the till.

At one point he grabbed the shop worker’s fingers, twisted them and said: “How many should I break?”

The worker refused to part with any cash and Hammond stole alcohol.