Downham Market man stole shower gel from shop ‘because he needed a wash’, court told

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A man who stole shower gel from a shop did so because he “needed a wash”, magistrates have heard.

Michael Shackcloth, 27, of Glebe Road, Downham, pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft when he appeared in court in Lynn yesterday.

Jane Foster, prosecuting, told the court Shackcloth had put shower gel and body spray up his top during the incident on June 25.

Although he was challenged by a store detective, he denied taking any items. The theft was only confirmed after CCTV footage was checked.

Ian Graham, mitigating, said Shackcloth had been relying on Foodbanks at the time of the incident, as he was not receiving benefits following a previous prison sentence.

He said: “He took this item because he needed a wash. He wasn’t in a very good condition.

“He took this item on the spur of the moment to make himself more presentable.”

The court also heard that, since the incident, Shackcloth had secured his own tenancy agreement and was now receiving benefits.

Mr Graham said those developments were of “great significance” and expressed the hope his client may be able to secure employment in the future.

Shackcloth was given a 12 month conditional discharge and told to pay £5.25 compensation to the shop, plus a £150 criminal courts charge.