Thief was caught stealing on way home from court

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A BUNGLING thief stole more than £80 of alcohol while on his way to be sentenced for a shoplifting offence – and then got caught stealing from the same shop on his way back.

Matthew Eke, 34, of Tayfen Road, Bury St Edmunds, was travelling by train to Great Yarmouth magistrates on September 5 when it stopped off in Stowmarket.

He went then into the Asda supermarket and helped himself to £80.29 in bottles of alcohol and got back on the train.

While Eke was at his court case, where he received a 12 month community order for a shoplifting offence, staff at the store were already studying CCTV footage of the theft.

On his way back to Bury Eke decided to pop back into the Stowmarket store and was caught attempting to steal more bottles of alcohol.

Eke pleaded guilty to the theft and to the later attempted theft at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Thursday September 15.

Prosecuting, Rosalind Cappleman said: “After staff realised that alcohol spirits had been taken, CCTV evidence was looked at.

“When he came back into the store later that day he was followed and was seen to pick up bottles of alcohol again, having tried to conceal them.”

In mitigation, Lyndon Davies said Eke had got into trouble after borrowing money from the wrong people.

He said: “The reason was that Mr Eke owed some money to some rather unpleasant people.

“He had received threats saying if he didn’t pay it off the heavies would be called in.”

Eke received a concurrent 12 month community order including a 12 month supervision order and a six month drug rehabilitation order to run alongside the sentence given in Great Yarmouth. He was banned from ASDA in Stowmarket and Bury St Edmunds and ordered to pay £80.29 in compensation.