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Justice catches up with man who taunted police on Facebook

PUBLISHED: 18:23 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 19:45 02 May 2018

Matthew Goddard appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court via videolink on Wednesday charged with theft and making off without payment. 
Picture: Norfolk police

Matthew Goddard appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court via videolink on Wednesday charged with theft and making off without payment. Picture: Norfolk police

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Justice has caught up with a Norfolk man who taunted police on Facebook after officers appealed to trace him.

Matthew Goddard appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court via videolink on Wednesday charged with theft and making off without payment.

The 30-year-old admitted driving away from four petrol stations without paying for his fuel between January 8, 2017 and March 12, 2018.

When police appealed for his whereabouts in relation to one of the offences in February this year, Goddard appeared to taunt them on Facebook.

Posting on a link to the appeal, a user with his same name, said: “Could of picked a better picture”.

Goddard, of Yarmouth Road, Ormesby, was later arrested and charged by police.

The court heard how the defendant took £65 worth of fuel altogether without paying.

As details about his charges were read out, he said: “Always forgetting my wallet, ain’t I.”

Prosecutor Jane Walker said Goddard filled up his vehicle with £10 worth of fuel at the Tesco store on Pasteur Road in Great Yarmouth on January 8, 2017. Despite being unable to pay, she said he entered the shop and left his correct name and address with staff before leaving.

He never returned with the money, the court heard.

Ms Walker said Goddard did the same at a petrol station in Crimplesham on August 9, 2017 after taking £30 worth of fuel.

On February 22 this year, when he filled up at the BP garage on Dereham Road in Norwich, Ms Walker said: “He [Goddard] entered the store and said ‘sorry mate, I don’t have a wallet with me’.”

On March 12, 2018 he stole a packet of cigarettes from a shop in Sprowston and also took fuel without paying from the Shell Garage on Sweet Briar Road in Norwich.

He was identified by police through the details he left and CCTV footage.

Rob New, defending, said there was “at least” one occasion where Goddard’s inability to pay had been a genuine mistake.

He said: “This was not a sophisticated offence.”

The court heard how Goddard, who also pleaded guilty to the theft of the cigarettes, had 24 convictions for 70 offenses.

Magistrates jailed him for six weeks. He was ordered to pay £75.05p in compensation.

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