Meat thief is jailed

A MAN who stole meat and computer games from two Wisbech supermarkets did so because of his “desperate” financial position, a court heard.

Dean Hutton (23), of Wellington Terrace, was jailed for a total of 13 weeks by magistrates in King’s Lynn on Friday after pleading guilty to three charges of theft. He asked for a further four offences to be taken into account.

He was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison for breaching a previous suspended sentence order, and three weeks on each count, running concurrently to each other and consecutively to the suspended sentence term.

Ruth Johnson, for Hutton, told the court her client was unemployed and that three-quarters of his weekly benefit payments went on gas and electricity bills, even before other living costs such as food were considered.

She said: “He would say he is a young man acting in very desperate circumstances.”

Yvonne Neill, prosecuting, said Hutton was stopped by security staff at the Morrisons store in Wisbech last Thursday after being seen to hide items about his person.

He was arrested after handing over two computer games and later told police he had taken the items to sell to pay for food and tobacco, having not eaten for a few days, the court heard.

Earlier, on May 9, he stole meat in two separate incidents at the Co-op store in the Horsefair Centre, later telling police he had concealed the items in his trousers.

He asked for four other thefts from businesses in the town to be taken into consideration. The items, which were worth a total of £51, were all sold, Ms Neiil said.

And the court also heard Hutton accepted the latest offences put him in breach of a 16-week suspended jail sentence imposed in May.

Miss Johnson said Hutton accepted the suspended sentence would be activated, but urged the bench to only partially implement the term as Hutton had complied with a curfew element of the sentence without any breach.

No order was made for compensation because of Hutton’s financial position.