Man gets prison for stealing a handbag

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A MAN who stole a handbag belonging to an ‘elderly and vulnerable’ woman was sent to prison for 12 weeks on Tuesday.

Wayne Douglas Todd, 31, of Kings Close, in Mildenhall, had previously denied the theft but was found guilty at trial.

This week he returned to Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court where he was given a 12-week custodial sentence.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, told the court how on December 31 last year the victim had left her green handbag on a chair near the entrance to Sainsbury’s, in Mildenhall.

She had realised soon after leaving the store and quickly returned to retrieve it but Todd had taken it.

Mr Devine said: “He ran out of the other exit and was stopped soon after. It was recovered intact, with nothing taken from it.”

He added: “He said he was going to take it to the police station, which would have been a novelty.”

Mr Devine said Todd had been ‘highly convicted, mainly for dishonesty’ and was currently in custody.

In mitigation, Claire Furlong said: “He wasn’t aware of the owner of the bag and, whilst she has been identified as elderly and vulnerable, at the time he wasn’t aware of who she was.”

She added: “He didn’t run off but her ability to move was a fair amount slower than his and, when challenged by her, he handed the bag over.”

Sentencing Todd, District Judge Celia Dawson accepted he had not targeted the victim, but told him: “You have an appalling record for offences of dishonesty.”