Bury St Edmunds – Man sentenced in connection with making off without payment offences
A man from Bury St Edmunds has been sentenced after being convicted of a string of making off without payment offences across Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.
Declan Walsh, 32, of Mortimer Road, Bury St Edmunds, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court yesterday, Tuesday 12 January, where he was sentenced after previously pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to 16 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was also disqualified from driving for three months.
Walsh was also ordered to pay compensation costs totalling more than £500.
The sentence follows 10 charges for making off without making payment offences, all occurring at petrol stations between March 2020 and August 2020, in Brandon, Woodbridge, Bury St Edmund in Suffolk, Thetford in Norfolk, as well as Milton in Cambridgeshire.
Following being charged with these offences, Walsh asked for seven other offences to be taken into consideration.
All of the offences occurred at petrol stations between August and December last year in Nacton, Bury St Edmunds, Coddenham, Stowmarket and Sudbury.
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.”
Operation Converter is an initiative aimed at encouraging offenders to admit their crimes. This has benefits for all – police are able to give victims some peace of mind that an offender has been caught for the burglary of their home or the theft of their property and the individual has the opportunity to clear their slate so they can have a fresh start when they are released from prison, without the possibility they will later be traced for a further offence. Offenders have to give sufficient detail for officers to be sure they have committed the crime and these offences are then ‘taken into consideration’ at sentencing.