Shropshire Star

Convicted killer who took drugs to 'dim the pain' went on theft spree - including bikes worth £10k

A Telford man previously convicted of manslaughter who turned to class A drugs to “dim the pain” of having killed someone, has been spared jail following a series of thefts.

He was sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court

Neil Hotchkiss of Queen Street, Wellington, appeared before Shrewsbury Crown Court on Friday charged with eight counts of shoplifting and the burglary at a Telford bike shop – where he and an accomplice stole more than £10,000 worth of cycles.

Suzanne Edwards, prosecuting, said the 43-year-old had admitted eight thefts from shops between October and November last year, where he targeted retailers B&M and Asda in Telford, stealing a range of items from hair dryers and hair straighteners to dishwasher pods, lighters and chocolates.

She said that this crime spree was conducted while Hotchkiss was on bail following the burglary of a bike shop a year earlier, which she said was the "most serious" of the offences for which he was before the court.

The burglary on the bike shop on October 17, 2022 had left the owners “fearful” as they lived near to their business, said Ms Edwards.

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