Homeless shelter thief ordered to repay value of stolen hygiene products

Thomas Moore appeared at magistrates' court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

Thomas Moore appeared at magistrates' court in Ipswich Picture: ARCHANT

A recovering drug addict, with 132 offences on his record, including 96 thefts, has been spared a return to jail for stealing hygiene products from a homeless shelter.

Thomas Moore stole a dozen deodorant cans and a box of hand sanitiser from behind the reception area of the Chapman Centre, in Black Horse Lane, Ipswich.

The offence took place before the 28-year-old managed to kick his heroin habit during a stint in prison.

CCTV recorded Moore entering the reception area to grab 12 cans of deodorant and a large box of hand sanitiser last July.

Moore, now of White Elm Street, Ipswich, had been due to appear at court on February 11 but failed to respond to a postal summons sent to his old temporary address at the Salvation Army hostel.

He was brought before magistrates in custody last week after being picked up by police on a warrant at Newnham Court.

Prosecutor Colette Harper told Suffolk Magistrates’ Court that Moore’s record of 132 offences included 96 thefts – the most recent of which earned his a stretch in prison last November.

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John Hughes, mitigating, said Moore’s failure to attend court had been the unavoidable result of a postal requisition being sent to the Salvation Army hostel after he found accommodation at his mother’s address.

Mr Hughes said Moore had entered a prompt guilty plea to the charge, which would have been unlikely to extend his stay in prison if dealt with at the same time as previous offences in November.

Since then, said Mr Hughes, Moore had been put on prescribed methadone to treat a heroin addiction, which regular drug tests showed he had managed to keep under control after being released.

Having spent 40 hours in custody from the time of his arrest, Moore was deemed to have served his sentence for the Chapman Centre theft.

Magistrates ordered Moore’s release from custody but demanded he repay the value of stolen deodorant and hand sanitiser.

They agreed that the £26 in compensation to the homeless shelter could be consolidated with about £2,000 of other outstanding court fines and deducted from his total monthly universal credit entitlement.

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