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Man stole from £500 from thai restaurant less than a day after being handed suspended jail sentence

PUBLISHED: 16:37 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 13 January 2019

James Smith was jailed for 22 months for burglary. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

James Smith was jailed for 22 months for burglary. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Norfolk Constabulary

A man who stole cash from a Norwich restaurant less than a day after being handed a suspended prison sentence is today behind bars.

The House Thai restaurant in Norwich city centre. Photo: GoogleThe House Thai restaurant in Norwich city centre. Photo: Google

James Smith, 41, stole £500 from the till of The House Thai restaurant in Queens Road, Norwich.

Norwich Crown Court heard how the offence came less than 24 hours after Wright had walked free from court having been handed a suspended prison sentence for an offence of aggravated vehicle taking.

Smith received a 15-month prison term which was suspended for 24 months when he appeared before Judge Stephen Holt on November 15 last year.

But Chris Youell, prosecuting, said it was “less than 24 hours later” when Smith stole from the restaurant.

He said he entered the restaurant and slid open the security shutters before walking over to the till where he lifted up the unit and pressed the release button which opened the cash drawer.

Mr Youell said Smith was “very well known” to the authorities due to having 63 convictions for 298 previous offences, 176 of which were for dishonesty.

He said Smith was picked up on CCTV and was recognised by police as he was “well known to them”.

Smith made full admissions in interview when he told police he had no money as he had lost his wallet and took the money to pay off some debts he owed.

Mr Youell said Smith’s offending record was an aggravating factor.

Smith appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, January 10, having previously admitted burglary on November 16 last year.

David Stewart, mitigating, conceded his client had a “bad record” but said he had pleaded guilty to the offence.

Sentencing Smith to a total of 22 months in prison, recorder Ann Mulligan said it was regrettable he had offended “straight away” after having been given a suspended sentence and a “chance to sort yourself out”.

Smith said “thank you very much” and appeared to smile as he was led away to the cells.

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