West Lynn couple given staggered curfews ‘to stop them stealing together’

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A couple who stole a Game of Thrones box set from a Lynn supermarket have been given staggered curfews - in a bid to stop them from committing crimes together.

Lee Branham, 44, and Katie Whiley, 25, both of Wallflower Lane, West Lynn, pleaded guilty to a single charge of theft when they appeared before magistrates on Monday.

They were each given nine week curfews, with Branham’s requiring him to be at home from 9am to 7pm each day, while Whiley will have to be there from 11am to 9pm each day.

Presiding magistrate Elaine Bird told them: “The purpose of this is so you can’t go out stealing together.”

Earlier, the bench was told Branham had 45 previous convictions recorded against him for theft.

His solicitor, Andrea Clarke, said he had a long history of drug use and had stolen the box set, worth £70, in order to pay off a drug debt. The item was subsequently sold on.

But she added that he had now managed to secure a stable home address, following a five-year period of homelessness.

Ruth Johnson, for Whiley, said both she and Branham were now working with the Norfolk Recovery Partnership to overcome their heroin addictions and were “motivating each other” to do so.

The court heard the pair had gone into the Sainsbury’s store on the Hardwick industrial estate on Scania Way on the morning of January 23.

They were then seen to select the box set and two other DVDs, which were placed in a basket.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said the couple had then gone to the clothing aisle, which they knew to be a blind spot on the CCTV system, where the box set was removed from the basket and placed in a bag Branham was carrying.

They then returned the other DVDs and had other goods scanned, but left without them, claiming they had forgotten their wallets and would return. They were subsequently identified via the CCTV footage.

When interviewed by police, Branham admitted the offence and said the box set had been “sold on the street” afterwards.

Meanwhile, Whiley said Branham had been searched by a security guard when they left the store, but the box set was not found.

She claimed Branham had told her to pick up the item and go to the clothing aisle - a move that Mrs Bird said had shown an element of planning to the offence.

But Miss Johnson said they were not “professional shoplifters” and Whiley herself had described themselves as being “a bit stupid.”

The couple were each ordered to pay £35 compensation to Sainsbury’s, £20 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.