Shropshire Star

Shoplifter who admitted spree to feed drug habit released on unconditional bail

A man who went on a shoplifting and burglary spree across south Shropshire to feed his drug habit has been released on unconditional bail until a judge can sentence him.

Kidderminster Magistrates and County Court building, off Comberton Hill, Kidderminster..

Tom Rutter, aged 24, of no fixed abode, has pleaded guilty to 23 charges of shoplifting including a large amount of spirits stolen from across Ludlow, Leominster, and Church Stretton since January 2023.

Appearing in the dock at Kidderminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Rutter also admitted raiding the Factory Shop in Leominster twice on July 16 when he stole more than £3,000 worth of branded clothing.

A judge heard that he took multiple doors off their hinges and used a drain cover to smash his way in.

Eleanor Peart, prosecuting, said the total value of stolen goods amounted to about £5,000 which was taken over seven months from January this year and was not recovered. She also said damage had been done.

This meant a "starting point of six months" in custody faces Rutter because of the high-value thefts.

Martin Walker, mitigating, said his client should receive full credit for his "early guilty plea".

"He has no previous convictions and was evicted from a homeless shelter in November," said Mr Walker. "His first offence was on January 4 to feed a heroin addiction.

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