A MAN has been found guilty of stealing an elderly woman’s handbag after claiming he was taking it to hand into police.
Wayne Douglas Todd, 31, of Kings Close, Mildenhall, was branded an ‘unrepentant thief’ by Godfried Duah, prosecuting, after he denied snatching Marjorie Goreing’s bag from Sainsbury’s.
Todd appeared at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to face a charge of theft.
Mr Duah told the court how Ms Goreing had unwittingly left her bag on seating at the Recreation Way supermarket on New Year’s Eve last year.
Moments later, Todd picked up the bag and made for the store’s side exit, only for Ms Goreing to realise her mistake and return for it.
When she saw Todd holding the bag she pursued him out of the store.
She then shouted to him that it was her bag, to which he replied that he was going to ‘take it to the police station’, before handing it back to her.
Appearing as a witness, Ms Goreing said she was shocked and upset by the incident.
“I shouted for him to give me the bag inside the store but he just kept going – it’s only when we got outside that he handed it back.”
Todd was arrested later that evening at his home.
He told the court that he had asked several people if the bag was theirs but to no reply.
Magistrates then saw CCTV footage which showed Todd leaving the store with the bag – and Ms Goreing in pursuit.
Todd said: “It shocked me when she asked for it back and thought I’d stolen it.
“If I had wanted to steal it I would have just got away on my bike.”
But magistrate Andrea Burton-Griffiths said Todd’s story was not credible.
The court was told that Todd had 44 previous offences of theft on his record. His sentencing was delayed for a report to be produced.