‘Persistent offender’ to detox while in prison

A COURT has sent a ‘persistent offender’ to jail after a plea from his lawyer who said it would allow him to detox.

Shaun Byers stole meat valued at £30.48 and a bottle of vodka and razors, valued at £14.99, from Tesco, in Thetford.

He also stole Yankee candles, tags and a pair of secateurs, valued at £177.82, from Thetford Garden Centre.

Prosecuting, Rosalind Cappleman said that on May 7 Byers was identified on CCTV after being seen taking meats from a chilled cabinet.

On May 15, he was seen acting suspiciously in the garden centre and found in the toilets of the nearby Tesco store with candles, tags and secateurs, which had blood on them.

On June 5, he was seen taking razors and putting a bottle of vodka he had drunk from back on the shelf, said Mrs Cappleman.

Byers, 35, of Bury Road, Thetford, pleaded guilty to theft from a shop at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, having previously pleaded guilty to the May 15 and June 5 thefts.

In mitigation, Lyndon Davies said that Byers had a history of alcohol problems and drug misuse but was half way through an alcohol detox and had started on a methadone script while in custody.

“I would ask you to impart a short custodial sentence – that would be enough to punish him for the offences but he could also complete his detox, spend some time on his methadone script and try to make arrangements to get a hostel for when he is released,” said Mr Davies.

Sentencing Byers to 16 weeks in prison, presiding magistrate Lorraine Line said: “We don’t give prison sentences just to try and detox people but you are a persistent offender.”