Prolific shoplifter stole from 22 shops in two towns

Bronnagh Brannigan was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Scott Butcher appeared at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A “prolific“ shoplifter who stole alcohol worth nearly £4,000 during a string of thefts from stores in Colchester and Halstead has been jailed for three months.

Scott Butcher stole from 20 Co-op stores and two One-Stop shops during a spree of offending between May 25 and July 9 last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Butcher, 34, of Priory Street, Colchester, who is currently serving a 17-month prison sentence for burglary, theft and an earlier breach of a non-molestation order, admitted 22 offences of theft, possessing a small amount of amphetamine and breaching a non-molestation order banning him from contacting his former partner.

Recorder Graham Huston described Butcher, who appeared in court via a prison video link, as a “prolific” offender.

Daniel Setter, prosecuting, said the alcohol stolen from the Co-op stores was worth £3,980.

He said Butcher had selected bottles of alcohol before leaving the stores without paying.

 On some occasions he had carried the bottles out in one of the stores’ wire baskets.

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The court heard that Butcher, who has 100 previous convictions, had stolen the alcohol to get money to feed his drug habit.