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Bury St Edmunds man who had 'fallen on hard times' and left multiple petrol stations without paying avoids jail



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A Bury St Edmunds man who had 'fallen on hard times' and left multiple petrol stations without paying has avoided jail.

Declan Walsh, 32, of Mortimer Road, Bury St Edmunds, faced 10 charges of making off without payment at petrol stations between March 2020 and August 2020, in Brandon, Woodbridge, Bury St Edmund, Thetford and Milton.

After being charged, he called for seven other offences to be taken into consideration at petrol stations between August and December last year in Nacton, Bury St Edmunds, Coddenham, Stowmarket and Sudbury.

Ipswich Magistrates' Court
Ipswich Magistrates' Court

Walsh appeared before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court yesterday, where he was sentenced, after previously pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

He was sentenced to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months and disqualified from driving for three months.

Walsh was also ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Police Constable Tim Barrell, from the Op Converter team, said: "Declan Walsh was approached while on court bail and he was given the opportunity to engage with the TIC process.

"He made voluntary admissions to seven further offences involving making off without payment at petrol stations across the county and he has asked for them to be taken into consideration at court.

"He was remorseful and had fallen on hard times and is sorry for his offending.

"However, in these particularly difficult times for local businesses, there is no excuse for anyone to be committing these offences in such a prolific and disrespectful manner.

"I hope this sentence will give Walsh the chance to reflect on his actions.

"This type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and so I am pleased with the sentence he has been given."

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