Norfolk ban for three men who stole cash from Yarmouth fruit machines

Charlie Shaw is accused of trying to steal from Potters Resort at Hopton. Picture: James Bass

Three men convicted of stealing £400 cash from Potters Resort - Credit: James Bass

Three men involved in stealing cash from amusement arcades around Great Yarmouth have been banned from coming to Norfolk and visiting seaside amusement arcades for the next 15 months.

Stuart Forbes, 45, Charlie Shaw, 32, and Thomas Wheatcroft, 40, who have a history of stealing from gaming machines, were caught in April 2019 after they stole £400  from a machine at the family-owned Potters Resort, in Hopton, Norwich Crown Court heard.

The three were then caught the next day attempting to steal from the Funworks Arcade, in Great Yarmouth, after a warning was issued about the men.

Lynne Shirley, prosecuting, at Norwich Crown Court, said the theft took place on April 23 at Potters Resort.

She said that £400 cash was discovered missing and when CCTV was checked it showed two of them gathered around a machine, while one acted as a lookout.

She said an alert was issued and they were recognised when they went to the Funworks Arcade the next day.

She said police were contacted and although the men left before they managed to steal anything, they were stopped and arrested.

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She said when searched they had equipment to steal from the machines.

Forbes of Battenburg Avenue, Portsmouth, Shaw, of Wadham Road, Portsmouth and Wheatcroft of Hunter Road, Southsea, all admitted theft, attempted theft and going equipped.

 Shaw also admitted possession of a single wrap of cocaine.

Sentencing them each to six months jail, suspended for 15 months, Judge Anthony Bate also made an order excluding them from coming to Norfolk.

He also said they must not visit any family seaside amusement arcade in England and Wales. Both exclusions run for the 15 months of the order.

Judge Bate also made each of the men pay £130 compensation to Potters Resort and £370 towards costs.

Danielle O'Donovan, for Wheatcroft said he worked as a painter and decorator and would be in a position to pay compensation once work started again after lockdown.

John Morgans, for Forbes, said his income had also been hit by lockdown and he had a family to support.

Shaw was represented by Ian James.

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