Norfolk shoplifter took £600 of perfume and cosmetics because he was “low on money”

Thomas Evans shoplifted from Palmers, Boots and Superdrug in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Anthony Carrol

Thomas Evans shoplifted from Palmers, Boots and Superdrug in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Anthony Carroll - Credit: Archant

A man who stole more than £600 worth of items from shops in Great Yarmouth has been spared jail by magistrates.

Thomas Evans, of Travers Road, London, pleaded guilty to four counts of theft from Great Yarmouth shops, as well as one charge of posession of a blade in a public place, when he appeared at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on February 6.

The 38-year-old admitted stealing an Armani Code fragrance set worth £69 from Boots on December 27 and various cosmetic items worth £240.40 from Superdrug the following day.

He returned to Boots on January 3 and stole two Gucci Guilty gift sets worth £124.

On January 9, Evans was stopped by officers in Debenhams, where his backpack was searched, with police finding clothes, perfume and make up from Palmers worth £207.

Evans was arrested and, while in the police van, handed a lock knife to officers.

Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said: “He was seen on CCTV entering the shops, acting suspicious and putting items in an Iceland bag-for-life.

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“He was fidgeting in the back of the van and when the officers turned round he handed them a lock knife.”

Anne-Marie Sheridan, defending, said: “He has been out of trouble for some seven or eight years and you have to go back to 1999 for any similar offences.

“He has been incredibly unwell in recent years and was arrested and acquitted of manslaughter a few years ago.

“The man who died was a member of a south London gang and Evans had to move from the area and became alienated from his friends. His mental health deteriorated and he suffers from PTSD and depression.

“He stopped taking his medication and came to Great Yarmouth to see family.

“He cannot explain his actions but he was low on money.”

Evans was handed a three month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months for possessing the blade.

Magistrates also imposed a curfew to last 30 days between 7pm and 7am, as well as ordering £240.40 in compensation to Superdrug and £193 to Boots. No compensation was ordered to Palmers as the items were recovered.