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Opportunist Norwich thief proves he's got a lot of bottle

PUBLISHED: 10:42 05 March 2011

Milk bottles

Milk bottles

Eastern Daily Press © 2004

An opportunist thief has proved he has got a lot of bottle when it comes to the white stuff - after pinching milk from outside the entrance to Norwich Magistrates' Court.

The problem of milk thefts from outside the court building at St Martin-at-Palace Plain, Bishopgate, Norwich, only came to light following a recent meeting of the Norwich Judicial Leadership Group.

Members of the group were told that a tramp had “taken residence in the staff entrance to the court” and milk had gone missing, prompting the police to be informed.

It is not clear what the homeless person was doing in the area, or whether he is still there, but as a result the decision was taken to stop having milk delivered to the court for health and safety reasons in case it was tampered with.

It is understood that the court now purchases cartons of milk which are stored in fridges inside the court building.

Staff at Norwich Magistrates’ Court declined to comment about the issue when contacted by the Evening News.

A spokesman for Her Majestey’s Court Service (HMCS) said: “Decisions on the provision of milk for use by HMCS staff is a matter for local management.”

Roy Blower, who was a magistrate in Norwich between 1972 and 1992, said: “It’s a sad day when some unfortunate has to steal milk from doorsteps. In an ideal society that wouldn’t happen. But unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal society.”

Stealing milk from under the noses of city magistrates is not the only audacious theft to have occurred in Norwich in recent times.

In November 2005 the Evening News reported how a robbery suspect escaped from police when he stole the car of the officers sent to arrest him.

The criminal managed to give officers the slip and drove the Ford Focus police car for about five miles before he dumped it and ran off.

Do you have an unusual story for the Evening News? Contact Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk.

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