Man, 45, stole wine from popular Bury St Edmunds store

ipswich crown court

Stuart Watson, 45, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A Bury St Edmunds man breached a suspended prison sentence by stealing wine from a convenience store, a court heard. 

Staff at the Spar store on St Olaves precinct in Bury asked Stuart Watson, 45, to leave the shop on December 16 after recognising him from previous incidents, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Staff activated a panic alarm and the police were called and there was a further altercation in which a woman was punched, Simon Connolly, prosecuting, told the court. 

A bottle of wine was found in Watson's bag and after CCTV cameras were checked, he was seen taking wine and walking out on three occasions in total, Mr Connolly said. 

No charges were brought in respect of the assault on the woman, the court heard. 

Watson, of Hawthorn Close, Bury St Edmunds, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft from a shop before magistrates in Ipswich on December 18. 

He also accepted this conviction put him in breach of a suspended sentence imposed at Ipswich Crown Court on November 20, 2020, for possessing a bladed article. 

Most Read

The court heard that Watson has numerous previous convictions. 

Lynne Shirley, representing Watson, said her client entered guilty pleas at the first opportunity. 

Ms Shirley said although Watson had a criminal record "of some length", there was a significant gap in his offending between 2018 and 2021. 

She said Watson was in "an emotional state" at the time of the offending as there had been a breakdown in a friendship. 

He told police he had been drinking at the time and was a four out of ten on the drunken scale, Ms Shirley added. 

In a letter to Recorder Richard Atchley, read to the court by Ms Shirley, Watson said he let his "jealous emotions" get the better of him at the time. 

Recorder Atchley told Watson he had "an appalling record" and that he had "been given every opportunity in the past". 

Watson was sentenced to two months in prison, suspended for 18 months, for the theft offences.

He also received two months' imprisonment for breaching his suspended sentence but was released from custody due to time served on remand.