Lowestoft shoplifter in court over Christmas gifts spree

A SHOPLIFTER who stole an array of goods to give to his family as Christmas presents has been told he must pay back �7,530.

John Kirwan, 46, of Maidstone Road, Lowestoft, was ordered to return the benefit he made from his thefts at a proceeds of crime hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

He had previously admitted theft and money-laundering charges.

As well as being sentenced for these offences, Kirwan was subsequently taken back to court last Friday after an investigation into his finances by Suffolk police, who successfully applied for a money confiscation order.

After the granting of an order for �7,530, financial investigator Rachel Jarvis said: 'Suffolk Constabulary Financial Investigation Unit is determined to bring to justice criminals at all levels by making them pay back the profit from their crime.

'From shoplifting to drug trafficking, the unit will pursue every opportunity to use the Proceeds of Crime Act legislation.'

Kirwan was arrested after being spotted stealing two perfume gift sets by security staff at a Lowestoft town centre store. Officers carried out a search at his home and recovered a substantial amount of cash and property believed to have been stolen, including DVDs, computer games, electrical goods and clothing.

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In a police interview, Kirwan told officers he went shoplifting for the thrill of it and to get Christmas presents for his family.

Kirwan pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to theft from shops and two charges relating to the acquisition, possession and conversion of criminal property.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, a 12-month supervision requirement, 150 hours of unpaid work and �150 costs in June.

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