Serial shoplifter battling drug habit could not remember eight thefts from Northampton supermarkets

Magistrates jail 31-year-old despite pleas he's turning his life around

By The Newsroom
Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:08 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 12:12 pm

A serial shoplifter battling a drug habit could not remember stealing meat and sweets from Northampton supermarkets.

Vaughan Simon Coe, aged 31, pleaded guilty to taking two TVs without paying from Asda in Thornton Road on May 17, 2021, plus eight other shoplifting charges between March 25 and April 29.

Coe, of Cotswold Avenue, Duston, who appeared via video link from HMP Peterborough, took mostly meat and chocolate from another Asda at Harborough Road and a Tesco store in the town.

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Coe was jailed for shoplifting at Northampton Magistrates Court

Prosecuting, Sukhy Singh said: "Coe targeted the same stores despite being banned from Asda.

"One offence related to a theft where he entered the store with a female, loaded up his trolley and then left, driving off in a vehicle.

"On two other occasions he concealed meat items in a holdall he was carrying."

Northampton magistrates heard Coe had 15 previous convictions involving 38 offences — the majority of which were shop-related matters.

Coe was sentenced to two weeks in prison for each offence — a total of 18 weeks, although he will be released in nine — despite pleas from his solicitor that he had made great strides to turn his life around.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £710.14 in compensation to the supermarkets and prosecution costs within 28 days of his release.

Mitigating, Clare Fitzpatrick said: "He remembers an incident with TVs but does not remember the others.

"Mr Coe has long record of offending as a result of an entrenched Class A drug habit with which he has been struggling for a number of years.

"He was sentenced in September last year for conspiracy to supply class A drugs after selling to an undercover police officer, but had been on remand since December 2019.

"The world he came out to was very different to when he went in. He was also homeless and accepts his life was very chaotic which led to him gravitating back to people he knows — which in his case were drug users.

"He has since undergone a rapid detox programme while in prison and hopes to start a new job a soon as he is released.

"He fears if he remains in prison for too long he will lose his permanent address and will end up in the same position as before."