Prolific Suffolk thief gets another jail term for theft of bags from church and car

London Road Baptist church

London Road Baptist church - Credit: Nick Butcher

A prolific Suffolk criminal who now has more than 140 convictions to his name has been handed another prison sentence.

Tony Kirk jailed again

Tony Kirk jailed again - Credit: Archant

Tony Kirk was back in court three weeks after being given a 40-month jail term to admit two thefts of handbags – one from a church, the other from a car.

The 37-year-old, of High Street, Lowestoft, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich via a video link from Peterborough prison.

He pleaded guilty to stealing a handbag containing a purse, bank cards and cash to the value of £150 from a car on November 5.

Kirk also asked for the theft of a bag from a church in Lowestoft on November 29 to be taken into consideration.

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The contents of the bag included money, bank cards and a mobile phone.

The first theft occurred in Lyndhurst Road, Lowestoft, after a carer parked her Vauxhall Tigra at 6.50am and left her handbag on the front passenger seat.

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At 10.25am Kirk approached the passenger window and used a stone to get into the car – he then took the bag, which was later found discarded and cut in two, before cycling off.

After his arrest, Kirk told a probation officer he felt bad about taking a driving licence from the handbag and returned it to the owner.

The latter theft took place at the Baptist Church at the junction of London Road and Kirkley Park Road.

A woman had been setting up refreshments in the church hall and left her handbag on a table. It was taken after she briefly went out of the room.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said Kirk had committed 139 previous offences, 103 of which were for theft.

Richard Mann, representing Kirk, said his client had committed the two thefts because of a debt.

He had previously been badly beaten up.

The court was told when Kirk – who has recently become a father – is released he would no longer be in debt and is now drug-free.

Kirk was given a four-month prison sentence, which will run concurrently with the 40-month jail term he received at Ipswich Crown Court at the beginning of March for a burglary.

He had been on licence after being released from a three-year jail sentence for another burglary when he broke into a terraced house in Kent Road, Lowestoft, on November 30 last year.

Kirk had forced entry by breaking glass in a door while the owners were out and stole three money boxes containing £100 and jewellery including two gold necklaces, a gold bracelet, a watch and three rings.

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